Russia confirms two strikes that killed 64 in Syria

Airstrikes by Russian-backed Syrian government forces hit a packed wedding, killing at least 64 people including children, and a farming village in Idlib province.

The Russian air force said it had destroyed more than a dozen “terrorists” targets in Syria on Wednesday, killing at least seven and causing heavy damage.

“We… destroyed 27 targets of the terrorists, including of the Nusra group, which the Moscow centre said carried out yesterday’s attack,” the deputy head of the Russian General Staff, Maj Gen Alexander Lopatin, told Interfax news agency.

Lopatin accused the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed militia alliance, of failing to sever a supply route to the militants from Turkish territory.

“We strongly condemn the main objective of yesterday’s attack – the terrorist attack on a wedding that killed more than 60 people, including a large number of children,” Lopatin said.

Video footage showed paramedics retrieving the corpses of children and adults from the wreckage of the wedding. The son of the groom had earlier said the attack had targeted a wedding hall, but said later that it was more of a wedding celebration.

On Wednesday, a Syrian journalist and author of books on US-Russia relations said he had narrowly survived an attack by Russian-backed Syrian government forces on his home.

In an email message to Reuters, Dana Vavilov said he was in a farmhouse in northern Aleppo province with his family when his mother opened fire on what she thought was an enemy fighter. It was in fact the Syrian air force firing a barrel bomb at his house. “My mother shot the place down into a fireball and she suffered from trauma and was barely able to talk a few days later,” Vavilov wrote.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said dozens had been killed in the strikes on the wedding and in the farming village of Nubul and Zahraa in Idlib province. It said 48 people, most of them children, had been killed in the villages, with scores more injured.

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