Twenty-five children were reportedly among 70 civilians killed in three air strikes that hit heavily crowded areas in eastern Syria, including a mosque during prayer time on Saturday, in the town of al-Quria – The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) has said.
Quoting reports from its local partners in Syria, UNICEF said health workers were reported to have pulled mangled bodies of children from under rubble in the town of al-Quria in Deir al-Zor province, which is mostly under Daesh control.
A written statement by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood said the victims were killed when Russian warplanes struck a mosque and its surroundings in the town.
‘Russian fighter jets pounded the area again with cluster bombs as civilians attempted to rescue the victims’, the statement said.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down with unexpected ferocity and disproportionate force on pro-democracy protests that erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings.
While the onslaught of violence is being met with resistance, more than 250,000 people have been killed, 1 million injured and millions of refugees and internally displaced people, since the country’s civil strife began in 2011, according to the United Nations.
Moreover, UNICEF deplores these attacks and calls on all parties to the conflict to keep children out of harm’s way.
The critical concern for aid workers is that attacks on children in Syria “are becoming commonplace with callous disregard for the lives of children,” UNICEF said.