Civilians Killed in Russian Airstrikes in Syria

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A day earlier, it said, 30 had been killed, and reported more than 40 air strikes on the Ghouta region, the last opposition-controlled area near the Syrian capital. In the north since mid-December, some 300,000 people have fled from their homes, some of them displaced for the second or third time.

The call between Putin and Rouhani was also an opportunity for both leaders to highlight their common strategic goals - particularly in Syria, where Russian Federation and Iran remain the principal backers of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Funk told reporters in Manbij that the USA would continue to support the SDF allies, despite tensions with Turkey and that a continued US presence in Syria's north is aimed at deescalating tensions.

Air strikes have intensified since militants shot down a Sukhoi SU 25 in northwestern Idlib province on Saturday, the first known downing of a Russian jet in Syria.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia retorted, "It's completely clear to us the goal is to basically accuse the Syrian government of chemical weapons use where no perpetrators have been identified".

Russia's military bases in western Syria were also hit last month in a series of drone attacks, challenging Moscow's gains in the country still torn by conflict. F-16 fighters of the Turkish Air Force are involved in the operation, inflicting strikes on the positions of PYD/YPG on the Syrian-Turkish border. At least eight residents remained missing when the search was suspended at nightfall, one rescuer said.

From Idlib, activists uploaded videos of bombed hospitals, including footage of newborn babies struggling to breathe after their incubators lost power.

His commission is investigating war crimes in Syria under the UN Human Rights Council. A further 26 civilians were killed on Wednesday.

A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma
A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma

Eastern Ghouta is the last rebel-held enclave near Damascus, and parts of it have been held virtually for the entire war.

"If they come up against us in such a uniform we will see them as ... terrorists", he said at the time.

The latest casualties in Ghouta came as Washington threatened military action over the reported use of chemical weapons in the enclave, which regime and allied forces have besieged since 2013.

The White Helmets said airstrikes Tuesday in the Idlib village of Termala killed three people. The Syrian American Medical Society said its hospitals in Idlib treated 11 patients for suspected chlorine gas poisoning.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russian Federation on Monday of protecting Syrian President Bashar Assad from responsibility for what she said were multiple chlorine gas attacks on civilians in recent weeks.

Syria's multisided war has drawn in armies and insurgents from around the world, aggravating a conflict that began in 2011 as an uprising against Assad.

Moreover, in today's meeting, Iran's president stressed the necessity of fighting against terrorism in Syria, adding "unfortunately, today some [states] want to redraw the geographical boundaries in the region, and after the failure in northern Iraq, they have designed another plot in northern Syria".

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