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Syria: 31 Dead in Air Strike on Rebel Bastion

A Syrian air strike on a rebel bastion near Aleppo kills 31 people including children.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/16/2012, 5:12 AM

Houses that were in air strike in Azaz
Houses that were in air strike in Azaz
Reuters

A Syrian air strike on a rebel bastion on Wednesday flattened a string of houses and killed 31 people including children, the Al-Arabiya network reported.

The strike took place in the in the town of Aazaz, according to the report. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 31 people were killed in the attack by a MiG fighter jet, but the toll was expected to rise.

The dead included women and children, while another 200 people were wounded, it said.

The report said that at least 10 houses had been flattened in the attack on Aazaz, which lies just north of the main battleground city of Aleppo.

The attack came amid heavy shelling of several districts of Aleppo, Al-Arabiya noted, adding that dozens of people, many wailing and shouting, were climbing over the rubble, trying to pull out victims, while hundreds of others fled.

Abdel Rahman said that among those wounded were four of a group of 11 Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims who were kidnapped near Aazaz in May.

Witnesses were quoted as having said the bomb must have weighed at least half a ton and the impact shattered windows up to four blocks away.

Earlier on Wednesday, Syrian rebels claimed they destroyed Assad’s military headquarters with a serious of simultaneous bomb blasts.

The Syrian government claimed that no one was killed and that the explosion was close to a nearby hotel, but it is difficult to confirm any news from Syria because of the official ban on foreign journalists.

On Tuesday, former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, who crossed into Jordan after defecting last week, said that Assad’s regime now controls only 30 percent of the country.

“Oh devoted revolutionaries, your revolution has become a model of effort and sacrifice for the sake of freedom and dignity,” Hijab said. “I assure you, from my experience and former position, that the regime is collapsing, spiritually and financially, as it escalates militarily.”