10/27/2016, 09.37
SYRIA
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Idlib, air raid hits a school: At least 26 victims, including children

Fighters targeted  village of Haas, also hitting a school complex. 22 students among the dead. Syrian air or Russian force authors of the attack, but no official confirmation. In two years, the US-led coalition has caused at least 300 civilian casualties. Moscow hosts tripartite meeting between Iran, Syria and Russia on the conflict.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – There are at least 26 victims, mostly children, from an air strike on a village controlled by rebel militias in the north-west of Syria after air force jets hit a school in Haas village in Idlib province. So far there is no official confirmation of who is responsible for the attack, believed to have been carried out by government or Russian ally fighters operating in Syria.

A Syrian military source speaking to official state media reports that several "terrorists" died in the raid. However, senior UNICEF officials - the UN organization dedicated to childhood - say that "at least 22 children" were killed.

Idlib is one of the last rebel militias strongholds and the province is the subject on numerous government air raids, supported by Russia. US fighter jets also operate in the area, which have carried out a series of attacks against jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda active in the region.

The attack on the village in Idlib province comes amid the Russian-Syrian joint announcement of an extension of the moratorium on air strikes in the east of Aleppo. The area is controlled by rebel militias and Jihadi groups and has long been considered the epicenter of the conflict.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International returned has charged the international US-led coalition, of carrying out at least 11 air strikes on Syrian territory in the past two years, killing around 300 civilians. Of these, at least a hundred died between June and July this year in three attacks in Aleppo province.

The body's top directors launched an appeal to the US-led coalition, to carry out a thorough investigation into the violence against civilians. According to Amnesty's estimates, the number of civilian victims killed by the raid unleashed by the US and allies could have caused up to a thousand deaths. To date the US-led coalition has admitted causing civilian casualties through error.

Moreover, as different Syrian Church personalities have denounced, it is the civilian population - in areas controlled by the rebels or by government – who are the chief victims of this conflict. The war flared up in March 2011 as a protest against President Assad, and  in five years, has caused 300 thousand deaths (430 thousand according to other sources) and millions of refugees.

Meanwhile regional and international powers are making an effort to find a diplomatic solution to the war. According to reports from the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a tripartite meeting between Russia, Syria and Iran to discuss the war is scheduled tomorrow in Moscow. The head of Tehran's diplomacy has also scheduled a face-to-face with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

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