Activists Say Airstrike On Syrian Refugee Camp Kills At Least 28 Civilians

May 5, 2016

An airstrike hit a refugee camp in Syria near its border with Turkey, and activists say at least 28 civilians were killed.

NPR’s Alice Fordham tells our Newscast unit that “only the Syrian regime and its allies conduct strikes in the area.” Here’s more from Alice:

“Activists in the camp in the province of Idlib uploaded video of women and children wounded in the strike being evacuated in flatbed trucks. Tarpaulin tents are flattened.

“Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Syrians have ended up in this northern area. Idlib province has a significant presence of the Syrian al-Qaida affiliate, but activists say there were no militants in the camp, only civilians.”

Photos released by the Anadolu Agency show smoke rising from charred piles of debris. Scattered items such as mangled motorbikes and brightly colored notebooks can be seen amid shredded blue and white tents.

Between 1,500 and 2,000 internally displaced people fleeing violence reside in the camp, according to the Associated Press.

The White House quickly condemned the airstrike, Reuters reported. “These individuals are in the most desperate situation imaginable, and there is no justification for carrying out military action that’s targeting them,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, according to the wire service.

The violence comes as the U.S. and Russia try to revive a cessation of hostilities announced in February that has been unraveling. As we reported Wednesday, the State Department said that it was working with Russia to push for a restoration of that truce in Aleppo, which has seen heavy fighting between rebels and government forces.

The Syrian army said Wednesday that it would apply a truce for just 48 hours to Aleppo, which lies in the province next to Idlib. At the same time, some rebels said they rejected that “Syria’s nationwide truce be broken down into localized cease-fire,” as NPR’s Alison Meuse reported.

Doctors and activists told NPR that Aleppo was relatively calm Thursday, after dozens were killed in the lead up to the so-called truce.

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