Air strikes kills over 40 and injures 200 in Azaz
BEIRUT, SYRIA - TURKEY BORDERSyrian government air strikes on a residential neighborhood in a rebel-held town killed over 40 people and wounded at least 100 others including many women and children.
Aug. 15’s bombing flattened a string of houses and killed at least 46 people, with a Syrian watchdog reporting 31 killed and 200 more wounded and Turkey saying another 15 had died in its hospitals after crossing the border, according to Agence France-Presse.
The strikes on the town of Azaz in northern Syria on Aug. 15 leveled the better part of a poor neighborhood and sent panicked civilians fleeing for cover. So many were wounded that the local hospital locked its doors, directing residents to drive their injured to the nearby Turkish border for treatment on the other side, international watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
The bombardment appeared aimed at rattling the sense of control that rebels have sought to project over the northwestern corner of Syria near the Turkish border since they drove President Bashar al-Assad’s army from the area last month, The Associated Press reported.
Carrying bags of clothes and boxes of food on their heads, hundreds of Syrians fled to Turkish town of Kilis after a massive Syrian air strike on Azaz. Syrians walked from Azaz with their belongings and were equally adamant they could no longer remain in their hometown, which lies just a few kilometers from the border with Turkey.
“This horrific attack killed and wounded scores of civilians and destroyed a whole residential block,” said Anna Neistat, the group’s acting emergencies director. “Yet again, Syrian government forces attacked with callous disregard for civilian life.” HRW said two opposition Free Syrian Army facilities in the vicinity might have been targets of the Syrian aircraft.
One was the headquarters of the local Free Syrian Army brigade two streets away from the block that was hit. The other was a detention facility where the Free Syrian Army held “security detainees”, government military personnel and members of pro-government shabiha militia. Neither of these facilities was damaged in the attack.