At least 92 killed in gov't strikes across Syria, says monitor

Published January 25th, 2015 - 05:00 GMT

At least 92 people were killed Friday after Syrian military operations across the country, according to a written statement made by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

Government forces attacked cities controlled by rebels, according to SNHR, which is based in London and opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The official Syrian news agency, SANA, said that the Syrian regime forces had killed a “large number of members of terrorist organizations” in operations in the countryside of Damascus and in other areas near Idlib. The Syrian government refers to all armed opponents as terrorists.

There were 61 people killed in the countryside of Damascus, five in Idlib, four in Homs and Hama respectively, three in Latakia and two in Quneitra, SNHR reported.

SANA said the army had killed 47 members of the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front near Quneitra. It also added that government forces had killed more than 50 “terrorists” in the provinces of Daraa, Sweida and Homs.

Regime air forces also intensively bombarded the areas of Douma, al-Humuriya, Darayya and Jobar in the Damascus area.

The pro-opposition Sham News Network published video footage showing the aftermath of government airstrikes in Humuriya. It claimed that at least 50 people were killed in Humuriya alone.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria told Anadolu news agency that at least 35 civilians had been killed in Humuriya.

SANA, meanwhile, reported that three civilians were killed and 11 others wounded by mortar shells fired by “terrorists” in the Damascus neighborhoods of al-Qosour and al-Zablatani.

Intense clashes also took place between rebel and regime forces near the Abu al-Dohur air base, which is controlled by the Syrian regime.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that 157 civilians, including 16 children, have been killed and 500 wounded in the past three days.

The dangerous conditions on the ground make it very difficult to independently confirm casualty tolls in Syria, which has been wracked by violence since peaceful protests against the government in March 2011 later escalated into a multi-sided civil war.

UN convoys bring restricted amounts of aid to Syrians

Meanwhile, the United Nations says it has carried out 54 aid deliveries to Syrians through newly-authorized convoys from neighboring countries since July, helping around 600,000 people in rebel-held territory.

"Access to medical supplies and equipment continued to be restricted by insecurity and constraints imposed on humanitarian operations by parties to the conflict," the report said.

The aid convoy program was authorized in July without approval from Damascus. After initial successes, the program had its mandate extended in December until the beginning of 2016.

The UN Security Council had designated crossing points in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey through which an estimated two million people could be reached with aid.

The rest of the aid travels from inside Syria, under the control of Damascus, which the UN says places bureaucratic barriers on deliveries.

As of January 13, the aid convoy program has run 40 deliveries through Turkey and 14 through Jordan carrying food for 596,000 people, water and sanitary products for 280,000 people and medication for 262,000 people.

Ongoing fighting, shifting rebel alliances and bureaucratic delays from Damascus have hampered aid deliveries.

"As Syrians, nearly half of them displaced, suffer through another bitter winter, I remind the Security Council that funding for UN agencies and their partners has not kept pace with the needs," the report said.

"The humanitarian situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate."

Of the total 12.2 million Syrians the UN estimates are in need, 3.8 million are said to be in Jordan and Iraq, while 7.6 million are internally displaced.

Over 1.5 million Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon. The small Mediterranean country had a population of 4 million before the Syrian conflict, making it the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.

About 200,000 Syrian civilians are in areas besieged by government forces or opposition groups.

The Syrian conflict has resulted in the death of at least 200,000 people and displaced almost half of the country's 23 million people from their homes.

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