Russian warplanes kill 53 civilians in Syria

Syrian human rights monitor says Russian warplanes killed 53 civilians while bombing ISIS-held village.

David Rosenberg ,

Airstrike in Syria
Airstrike in Syria

Russian warplanes killed 53 civilians during an air raid in Syria on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Russian air force bombed the ISIS-held village of Ash Sha'Fah in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria Sunday morning, one of the last ISIS strongholds after the fall of Raqqa earlier this year.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that Russian bombers hit “residential buildings” in Ash Sha'Fah, adding that local sources had raised the civilian death toll from 34 to 53. Twenty-one children are reportedly among the dead. An additional 18 civilians were said to have been injured in the air raid.

"The toll increased after removing the debris in a long day of rescue operation," SOHR’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The Syrian army has ramped up operations in the Deir Ezzor region, looking to crush the remaining ISIS presence. Forces loyal to the Assad government continue their siege of Al-Bakamal, some five miles south of Ash Sha’Fah. The Russian air force has launched a sustained bombing campaign of ISIS strongholds in the area to assist the Assad regime’s ground forces.