Dozens die in strikes on Syrian college district, other areas

BEIRUT Intense air and missile strikes on a school district and other areas in insurgent-held Damascus suburbs killed dozens of men and women on Sunday, like children, a monitoring group and neighborhood rescue workers stated.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said unidentified war planes hit the town of Douma, ten miles (15 km) northeast of the capital, and surface-to-surface missiles fired by the Syrian army also hit the surrounding places, including Eastern Ghouta.

The strikes killed at least two kids and a school principal, it stated.

Syrian Civil Defence, a humanitarian rescue group that operates in rebel-held places, put the death toll at 35 and mentioned numerous other individuals were wounded. It posted a photo of a dead child with a serious wound to its head.

Issam al-Rayyes, spokesman for the Southern Front of the insurgent Cost-free Syrian Army, said as many as 60 people had been killed in strikes on the Douma area which began early on Sunday.

Numerous of Douma’s residents have fled the nearly five-year conflict, moving to nearby rural regions. Syria’s civil war, which started as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, has killed a lot more than 250,000 folks and driven more than 10 million from their homes.

The areas have been below heavy bombardment in current months. The Syrian army has stated its strikes target insurgents that have launched attacks on government-held locations.

The Observatory, which has gathered info from a network of contacts on the ground considering that the start off of the conflict in 2011, mentioned at least 40 mortar bombs fired by insurgents in the eastern suburbs hit Damascus on Sunday, killing at least one particular child and wounding many.

State news agency SANA stated 3 civilians had been killed and at least 30 wounded in mortar attacks targeting residential neighborhoods of Damascus. Most of the victims had been school students, it stated, citing its reporter in the region.

Assad stated on Friday he would not negotiate with armed groups, appearing to scupper peace talks that Russia and the United States hope to bring about next month.

Washington helped broker an agreement reached on Thursday by much more than 100 members of Syria’s opposition parties and far more than a dozen rebel fighting groups – to send a joint group to meet the government below U.N. auspices next month.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Agen Sabung Ayam