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At Least 63 Killed, Including Nine Children, In Suspected Russian Air Strikes In Syria

Syrian activists say at least 63 people, including nine children, have been killed in air strikes suspected to have been carried out by Russian warplanes in eastern Syria.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jets on January 23 struck the village of Khasham, which is controlled by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

It was not possible to independently confirm the claim.

IS militants control most of oil-rich Deir al-Zour Province, where Khasham is located.

Over the past week, IS militants launched an offensive against government forces near the provincial capital, Deir al-Zour.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, launched an air campaign in Syria in September, saying it is targeting the IS group and other extremists there.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa