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Rights Group: Russian Air Strikes In Syria Have Killed Hundreds

  • RFE/RL

A new investigation from Amnesty International charges that a series of Russian air strikes in Syria have killed more than 200 civilians and very few militants.

The report released December 23 by the British-based rights group focused on six attacks in September, October, and November that hit sites in the Syrian cities of Homs, Idlib, and Aleppo.

In one attack on October 15, near Homs, at least 46 civilians who were sheltering in a building basement were killed, Amnesty said.

The group said the Russian attacks may have purposely targeted civilian residential areas and also medical facilities and used cluster bombs and so-called "dumb" bombs, which are less accurate.

Russia has long insisted its strikes are aimed at Islamic State militants, though Western governments have said the attacks are hitting other targets.

Moscow in the past has denied purposely targeting civilians.

Philip Luther, who runs Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program, said the civilian killings amounted to war crimes.