28 dead in Syria government air strikes: monitor

At least 28 people were killed Tuesday in Syrian government air strikes

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At least 28 people were killed Tuesday in Syrian government air strikes on a village in northwestern Idlib province and a suburb of Damascus, a monitor said.

At least 18 people died in government raids on the village of Ehsim in northwestern Idlib province, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitor said the toll was expected to rise, with the Syrian Revolution General Commission activist group saying the raids had hit a market.

Most of Idlib province is now under rebel control, after an alliance of opposition groups including Al-Qaeda’s local affiliate evicted regime forces from their last strongholds.

Elsewhere, the Observatory said at least 10 people, including two children, were killed in strikes on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma on Tuesday.

The monitor said another 50 people were wounded, and that the death toll was likely to rise because a number of those hurt were in serious condition and other residents were still missing under rubble.

An AFP photographer at a field clinic in the suburb saw the body of a young girl lying on a stretcher, with her hand protruding from under a makeshift shroud fashioned from a blanket.

Wounded people flooded into the clinic, with one man whose face was caked in white dust bleeding from the scalp through a gauze dressing.

Most of the floor was covered with the injured, some receiving treatment and others waiting, with the rare empty spaces smeared with blood.

Douma lies in the opposition bastion area of Eastern Ghouta, which has been subjected to continuous aerial bombardment for months.

Rebels regularly fire missiles into Damascus from the region, but many civilians remain in the area as well.

Earlier in June, at least 24 people, including five children, were killed in government strikes and rocket fire on Douma as the UN’s peace envoy Staffan de Mistura visited the capital.

Another nine people were killed in rebel rocket fire on Damascus the same day.

De Mistura condemned that exchange of fire and urged civilians to be protected on both sides of the conflict, which began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

More than 230,000 people have been killed in Syria since its conflict erupted.

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