BEIRUT

Middle East

Syria airstrike kills 13 in northwest town

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks as he holds his weapon in the besieged area of Homs March 1, 2014. REUTERS/Thaer Al Khalidiya

BEIRUT: Government airstrikes in a small northwestern town on the border with Turkey have killed at least 13 people, Syrian activists said Sunday.

The strikes hit residential buildings in the town of Kfar Tarakhim in the northwest province of Idlib in the afternoon on Saturday, according to the Idlib News group and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

One video uploaded shortly after the incident showed panicked men carrying two children away from burning rubble as black smoke concealed the sky. Another showed residents dragging the bodies of adults by their clothes, their faces toward the ground.

The videos appeared authentic and corresponded to Associated Press reporting of the event.

"There's so many wounded and dead, and very big fires," panted a shocked voice. "Martyrs on the ground."

One injured baby in a bright green playsuit screamed as a medic bandaged its head, and another badly burnt child was wheeled into what appeared to a makeshift clinic, his charred hands frozen in position.

"Remember God," panted a man in the background to the burnt child.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have dropped bombs and fired missiles at opposition-held residential areas throughout the three-year uprising-turned-war.

The bombardment seems sometimes intended to push civilians elsewhere, allowing Syrian forces a freer hand to tackle rebels. Villages far from government troops are also sometimes hit, suggesting the government wants to punish them for supporting the opposition.

 

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