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Dozens Killed in Air Strikes on Syria's Raqqa - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A deserted checkpoint that belonged to ISIS fighters is seen in Tel Abyad of Raqqa governorate June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

A deserted checkpoint that belonged to ISIS fighters is seen in Tel Abyad of Raqqa governorate June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Russian or Syrian warplanes Saturday carried out a series of air strikes on the city of Raqqa in northern Syria on areas controlled by ISIS killing dozens of people, a monitoring group and activists said.

A US-Russian engineered ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement in Syria took effect three weeks ago, reducing violence but not halting the fighting as peace talks take place in Geneva. The deal excludes al Qaeda or ISIS militants, whose de facto capital in Syria is Raqqa.

Russia has been pulling out its attack aircraft after announcing a partial withdrawal from Syria, where its air campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad has turned tables into Assad’s interest.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 39 people had been killed and dozens more wounded in the raids on Raqqa.

An activist group with sources in Raqqa, called ‘Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently’, said more than 40 had been killed, and that separate strikes hit areas in the north of Raqqa province.

Seven women and five children were among the dead, according to The Observatory. It said it was not clear whether Syrian or Russian warplanes had conducted the air strikes.

Separately, Russian warplanes hit the ISIS-held historic city of Palmyra and its immediate vicinity with some 70 air strikes, the Observatory said, killing at least 18 ISIS fighters.

Government forces and their allies are aiming to capture Palmyra, some 200 km southwest of Raqqa and also held by ISIS since May.

The Observatory said 16 people were also killed in air strikes in Raqqa on Friday.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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