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Monitoring Group Says Russian Air Strikes Have Killed 2,300 People So Far

A monitoring group that tracks fighting in Syria says that three months of Russian air strikes have killed more than 2,300 people there.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on December 30 that Moscow's strikes on Syria have killed 2,371 people so far.

The group said that a third of the victims are civilians, including 180 children.

Russia came under renewed criticism on December 29 for what the United States said is "indiscriminate" bombing in Syria that is killing civilians and endangering peace talks.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said "we've seen a marked and troubling increase in reports of these civilian casualties since Russia commenced its air campaign" in support of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 30.

Moscow insists the campaign is aimed at "terrorists" and that it takes care to protect civilians.

But the United States and other western countries maintain that the Russian strikes have mostly struck Syrian rebel targets other than the Islamic State group, which Russia claims to be targeting.

Based on reporting by SOHR and Reuters