Syria: 21 children killed in Russian airstrikes on Deir ez-Zor

Russian bombers targeted the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor on Sunday, killing at least 53 civilians. According to reports, 21 of them were children. Russia has confirmed the airstrikes but is claiming that the bombers hit ISIS targets.
Syria (archive) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

At least 53 people were killed when Russian bombers carried out airstrikes on the Deir ez-Zor province on Sunday, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group. The airstrikes reportedly hit residential buildings in the ISIS-held town of al-Asharah. However, Russia claims that the bombers hit ISIS targets.

Twenty-one of the civilians were children. Deir ez-Zor is one of the last ISIS-controlled areas in Syria. Last month, US-backed Syrian rebel forces retook Raqqa, which had been the de facto capital of ISIS in Syria since 2014.

Last week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Russia for an unannounced meeting with his Russian counterpart. The Kremlin stated that during the discreet meeting, which lasted four hours, the two discussed the situation in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Assad on his “accomplishments in the fight against terrorism” and Assad explained that the Russian military aid “saved Syria.”

Putin and Assad agreed that once the military operation against the terrorist groups in Syria has come to an end, the search for a political solution to the conflict needs to begin. Assad thanked Putin and other senior Russian officials for aiding his country and said that he expects Moscow to prevent other countries and international organizations from interfering in the political process in Syria.

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