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Suicide Bomber Strikes in Syria’s Hama | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian Democratic Forces fighters hold up their weapons in the north of Raqqa city, Syria. Reuters/Rodi Said

At least two people were killed and several wounded on Thursday in a suicide bombing at a bus station in the central Syrian city of Hama, regime media reported.

Hama city is the capital of the governorate of the same name, and is under regime control.

Last month, the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, made a rare public appearance outside the capital when he attended Eid al-Fitr prayers in Hama city.

The city has been largely spared the devastation faced by Syrian urban centers like Aleppo, although it has been struck by occasional violence. 

Also Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that US-led coalition air strikes have killed at least 224 civilians since the Syrian forces it backs entered ISIS’ bastion of Raqqa a month ago.

Arab and Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces broke into Raqqa on June 6 after a months-long operation to encircle the northern city. 

“At least 224 civilians, including 38 children and 28 women, have been killed in air strikes by the global coalition on Raqqa since the SDF entered it,” said the observatory.

The Britain-based monitor said it did not have a toll for civilians killed in other ways, including by other military operations, mines, or while trying to flee the city. 

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped inside Raqqa, with warnings that the militants are using them as human shields. 

Many Raqqa residents who have managed to escape say ISIS snipers are targeting anyone trying to leave the city. 

The Observatory said clashes and air strikes in Raqqa had killed 311 ISIS militants and 106 SDF fighters since June 6. 

The US-backed coalition is providing the SDF’s campaign on Raqqa with heavy air support, as well as special forces advisers, weapons, and equipment.

Since ISIS captured Raqqa in early 2014, it has served as the de facto capital of the terrorist group’s Syrian territory.