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Air strikes kill 12 in rebel-held areas of Syria’s Aleppo – IS claims takedown of plan

SYRIA: Displaced Syrians from the family of Syrian farmer Ahmad Farhat Ismail, who fled the northern conflict-ridden city Aleppo with his family, rest at their home after collecting tomatoes at a farm in the coastal city of Tartus on July 4, 2016. — AFP
SYRIA: Displaced Syrians from the family of Syrian farmer Ahmad Farhat Ismail, who fled the northern conflict-ridden city Aleppo with his family, rest at their home after collecting tomatoes at a farm in the coastal city of Tartus on July 4, 2016. — AFP

BEIRUT: Air strikes killed at least 12 civilians including children in two rebel-held neighborhoods of Syria’s Aleppo city yesterday, a monitoring group said. Nine people were killed in the Tariq al- Bab neighborhood, and another three in the district of Salhin in the east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Britain-based group said it was unclear whether the strikes were carried out by warplanes of the Syrian government or its ally Russia. Video obtained by AFP of the aftermath of the attack in Salhin showed smoke billowing from the front of a multi-storey building shorn of its facade by the strikes. The charred skeleton of a car, its windows blown out, sat in front of the building.

Civil defense workers battled a fire sparked by the attack, while civilians with ladders retrieved belongings from the ruins. “Total destruction,” said resident Jomaa Hassan, gesturing to a smoking building behind him. “These are civilians: a taxi driver, a municipal worker. These are the terrorists in their eyes.”Aleppo city is divided roughly between government control in the west and rebel control in the east. Last week, government forces advanced to within firing range of the only remaining supply route into the rebel-held east, effectively cutting it off and prompting food shortages and spiraling prices.

IS group claims Syrian warplane downing
The Islamic State group says it has shot down a Syrian government plane in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour and that its pilot has been killed. A video released on yesterday by the group’s media arm, Aamaq, purports to show the plane’s wreckage in flames and the body of the pilot, strung up on what appears to be a pole. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that IS militants shot down a plane near the Deir el-Zour military airport, which is controlled by government forces. The Observatory says the militants later “crucified” the body of the pilot. It wasn’t clear when the plane was downed. IS controls the Deir el-Zour province and parts of the provincial capital with the same name, along with the airport. — Agencies

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