PHOTO: An oil and fuel market ablaze after a Russian airstrike on Tuesday
Continuing their aerial assault on civilian areas and infrastructure, Russian warplanes killed scores of people in strikes on markets in northwest Syria on Tuesday.
Victims were burned to death when Russian bombs hit an oil and fuel market near Maarat al-Num’an in opposition-held Idlib Province. The Local Coordination Committees said dozens were killed and wounded.
More people were killed in opposition sections of Aleppo city by Russian bombardment. The Local Coordination Committee said 47 people were killed, most of them in an attack on a bazaar in the Maskana district.
Men rescue children from the destruction:
A man covered in dust after the attacks:
Russia began bombing inside Syria on September 30, with more than 80% of attacks on opposition areas. The strikes on civilian sites and infrastructure in the northwest have escalated since late November, following the Turkish downing of a Russian warplane. Targets have included a grain warehouse, a water treatment plant serving 1.4 million people, bakeries providing food for hundreds of thousands, schools, mosques, and markets.
Earlier this week, the UN and aid agencies said 80% of assistance to northwest Syria has been cut and about 260,000 people have been displaced amid the Russian attacks.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov defended the airstrikes on Wednesday:
We regularly hear criticism of our air strikes against terrorist infrastructure targets in Syria, and there is even a pattern — the more accurately we strike the terrorists, the more noise there is in the foreign press with references to some anonymous sources about Russian air strikes allegedly being non-selective.
Today, we are the only army in the world which has shown in detail, how and with what Russian high precision weapons on planes and ships we are hitting terrorist targets. At the same time, at best we only know of the results of the anti-IS coalition operations from the words of a few officials.
Claimed footage of bombing of mosques in Saraqeb, near Idlib city:
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) December 15, 2015