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Middle east

Air strike on Syria rebel stronghold leaves 'dozens' dead

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-15

A prolonged airstrike on rebel positions in northern Syria left dozens killed or wounded, activists reported on Wednesday. The raid hit the town of Aazaz, used as a base by the Free Syrian Army.

AFP - Several dozen people were killed or wounded in a devastating air strike on a rebel bastion in northern Syria on Wednesday, activists and witnesses said.

Witnesses told AFP at the scene that least five bodies had been pulled from the rubble of about 10 houses flattened in the attack on the town of Aazaz, while many more were still trapped.

Aazaz lies just to the north of Syria's second city of Aleppo near the border with Turkey and is often used as rear base by Free Syrian Army fighters.

"This was a civilian area. All these houses were packed with women and children sleeping during the fast," said witness Abu Omar, a civil engineer in his 50s.

"Only dogs can do something like this. Israel wouldn't do such a thing in a war," he told AFP.

The attack came amid heavy shelling of several districts of Aleppo during the dawn-to-dusk fast which Muslims observer during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "dozens of people were killed and wounded" after the strike by a MiG fighter jet near the prison in Aazaz.

"The whole of the area was flattened," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. "Those killed included civilians and fighters, but what is clear is that there was a Free Syrian Army base there."

An AFP correspondent said dozens of people, many wailing and shouting, were climbing over the rubble, trying to pull out victims.

"That's it, I'm leaving for Turkey with my family today. Life here is impossible," said another witness who gave his name as Jomaa.

"If you come to the basement of my house now, there are 15 women who are afraid to go out. This is what Bashar does to us," he said referring to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

At the local hospital, people brought in the body of a little girl apparently aged no more than four, the AFP correspondent said.

Date created : 2012-08-15


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