Syria: At least 120 killed in Russian airstrikes since October 1

Published October 28th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT

Russian warplanes killed at least 120 people in more than 300 airstrikes that targeted six towns in Syria’s western Homs province this month, according to a local activist.

"Russian attacks led to the displacement of more than 25,000 people in Homs’ northern countryside," local activist Abdel-Mohaymen al-Homsi told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

"Russian warplanes committed four massacres [in October], including one in which they targeted an air-raid shelter in the town of Talbiseh killing 40 people," al-Homsi said.

"Another 17 people were killed when Russian warplanes struck a bakery in the town of Tair Maalah," he added.

Russian warplanes, al-Homsi asserted, had also struck two Free Syrian Army (FSA) bases, leaving 30 fighters -- including three field commanders -- dead.

For the past month, Russia has been carrying out frequent airstrikes in Syria, the main target of which, Moscow insists, has been the Daesh militant group.

A number of Western countries, however, say civilians -- along with moderate opposition forces fighting the Syrian regime -- have borne the brunt of the Russian strikes.

"But despite the Russian air support, regime forces backed by allied militias have made no gains on the ground in northern Homs," Jihad Abo Muslim, an FSA commander, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

"In fact," he added, "they’ve suffered substantial losses."

According to Abo Muslim, the Syrian regime is currently trying to capture the town of Tair Maalah, which commands the route to opposition-held areas of Homs.

On Monday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that regime forces had seized control of two villages and several buildings in Tair Maalah -- an assertion denied by the FSA commander and one which Anadolu Agency was unable to independently verify.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has claimed more than 250,000 lives since it began in 2011, according to UN figures. It has also made the country the world's single-largest source of refugees and displaced people.

Some 3.9 million Syrians are now refugees, while at least 7.6 million have been internally displaced, according to the world body.

Neighboring Turkey is now the world’s largest refugee-hosting country, with more than two million Syrians currently seeking refuge there.

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