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World Middle East 30 Jan 2016 Nearly 1,400 civilia ...

Nearly 1,400 civilians killed in Russia's Syria airstrikes

REUTERS
Published Jan 30, 2016, 9:22 pm IST
Updated Jan 30, 2016, 9:22 pm IST
Main Syrian opposition group heading to Geneva peace talks wants an end to airstrikes.
Protesters hold posters and flags during a demonstration against the Syrian regime during Syrian Peace talks in Geneva (Photo: AP)
 Protesters hold posters and flags during a demonstration against the Syrian regime during Syrian Peace talks in Geneva (Photo: AP)

Homs: Russian air strikes on Syria have killed nearly 1,400 civilians since Moscow started its aerial campaign nearly four months ago, a group monitoring the war said on Saturday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collects information from a network of sources on the ground, said the Russian strikes had also killed 965 Islamic State fighters as well as 1,233 fighters from various other insurgent groups.

 

The main Syrian opposition group heading to Geneva peace talks on Saturday has demanded a halt to a joint Russian and Syrian bombing campaign they say targets mostly civilians in rebel held areas as a pre-condition for engaging in talks with the Syrian government.

Russia began a major aerial campaign on Sept. 30 to help its ally Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The air strikes tilted the war in Assad's way after major setbacks earlier in 2015 brought rebel groups close to the coastal heartland of his Alawite sect.

Moscow says it is targeting Islamic State militants but rebels and residents say the Russian air strikes are causing hundreds of civilian casualties.

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