Syrian missiles kill 141 in Aleppo: group
By Barbara Surk, APBEIRUT--At least 141 people, half of them children, were killed when the Syrian military fired at least four missiles into the northern province of Aleppo last week, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
February 27, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The international rights group said the strikes hit residential areas and called them an “escalation of unlawful attacks against Syria's civilian population.” The statement from the New York-based group followed a visit to the area by a HRW researcher.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the civil war pitting President Bashar Assad's regime against rebels bent on ousting him.
Rebels quickly seized several neighborhoods in an offensive on the city in July, but the government still controls some districts and the battle has developed into a bloody stalemate, with heavy street fighting that has ruined neighborhoods and forced thousands to flee.
A Human Rights Watch researcher who visited Aleppo last week to inspect the targeted sites, said up to 20 buildings were destroyed in each area hit by a missile. There were no signs of any military targets in the residential districts, located in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and its northern countryside, said Ole Solvang, the HRW's researcher.
“Just when you think things can't get any worse, the Syrian government finds ways to escalate its killing tactics,” Solvang said.
Human rights watch said 71 children were among the 141 people killed in the four missile strikes on three opposition-controlled neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. It listed the names of the targeted neighborhoods as Jabal Badro, Tariq al-Bab and Ard al-Hamra. The fourth strike documented by the group was in Tel Rifat, north of Aleppo.