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People search for victims and survivors on 19 December following multiple reported airstrikes by Syrian government forces on the village of Tal Mardikh in Idlib province. Anas Alkharboutli/DPA/PA Images

Four children among those killed after missiles hit Syrian school

Missiles fired by Syrian regime forces killed eight civilians today, a war monitor has said.

MISSILES FIRED BY Syrian regime forces killed eight civilians including four children in a school in northwestern Syria today, a war monitor has said.

Part of the building in the town of Sarmeen had been turned into a shelter for the displaced, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Sixteen people were wounded, some of whom are in a critical condition, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

An AFP correspondent in Sarmeen saw the remains of a missile several metres long fuming in a nearby olive grove.

In the latest round of violence in Syria’s nearly nine-year-old war, regime forces have upped their deadly bombardment of the northwestern opposition bastion of Idlib in recent weeks.

In December alone, the violence pushed some 284,000 people from their homes in the jihadist-run region of some three million people, the United Nations has said. 


The mass movement of people has seen public buildings such as mosques, garages, wedding halls and schools turned into shelters, according to UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

Regime ally Russia announced a ceasefire for Idlib in late August after months of deadly Russian and regime bombardment that killed around 1,000 civilians.

However, sporadic clashes and bombardment persisted throughout the autumn before a spike in violence in the past month, the Observatory said. 

Syria’s civil war has killed more than 370,000 people since it started in 2011, some estimates top 500,000 deaths, with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

In total 11,215 people including more than 1,000 children were killed during the war last year, although it was the least deadly year recorded since the beginning of the conflict.

© AFP 2019  

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