Russian Airstrikes Hit Syria ‘Buffer Zone’ after Chemical Attack #SyriaWar
Russian warplanes attacked on Sunday opposition-held areas in the countryside of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo for the first time since a truce deal was reached two months ago between Ankara and Moscow in north Syria.
Moscow said Sunday the raids came as a response to the suspected poison gas attack in the north of the city a day earlier.
“The planes of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces carried out strikes on the detected artillery positions of terrorists in the area, from where the shelling of Aleppo civilians with chemical munitions was conducted,” Russian military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters in Moscow.
Syria said Sunday more than 100 people were treated at hospitals for the suspected poison gas attack in Aleppo, blaming “terrorist groups,” without naming any.
The Syrian regime called on the United Nations to denounce the attack.
“The Syrian government demands the UN Security Council immediately and harshly condemn these terrorist crimes,” the foreign ministry said.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday, informed Syrian opposition sources denied responsibility, accusing Qaeda-linked extremist groups of standing behind the chemical attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said a total of 94 people were hospitalized after “the smell of chlorine” was reported in the city, but most were discharged.
On Saturday, an AFP photographer saw dozens of civilians, including women and children, stream into an Aleppo hospital, some on stretchers or carried in by their relatives.
Separately, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar discussed with his Russian counterpart by telephone on Sunday the latest developments in Syria’s Idlib, Turkish broadcaster CNN Turk reported.
No further details were immediately available.
Russian news agencies cited Konashenkov as saying that the Russian strikes had destroyed all of their targets and that Moscow had warned Turkey of the bombing raid in advance via a telephone hotline.