Airstrikes hit Syrian school, kill > 20, incl. kids

At least 26 people, many of them children, were killed in airstrikes that occurred on October 26 on a rebel-held village in northwestern Syria, according to activists on the scene, the BBC reports.

A school complex was among several locations targeted in the village of Haas, in Syria’s Idlib province, and at least 14 children and one woman were reportedly killed while they were gathering outside the school complex.

Initial reports suggested it couldn’t be determined whether Russian or Syrian government fighters carried out the attacks, the Associated Press confirmed, but reports in the days following the attack all say the attack on the school was carried out by Syrian fighters, which may have been allied with Russian forces.

The UN’s children’s charity Unicef said 22 children were reportedly killed. “This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago,” the BBC quoted Unicef’s executive director Anthony Lake as saying.

Opposition forces in Syria count Idlib as one of their strongest positions, but radical groups also have claimed swaths of territory in the province. Syrian and Russian warplanes—as well as the US-led coalition against Islamic State combatants—attack the province on a regular basis, according to multiple news reports.

The village of Haas is about 46 miles southwest of Aleppo. The terrain is complex, making it very easy for fighting to break out at any moment involving US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters, Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, and Turkey.

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.