by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) Jan 14, 2013
An air strike Monday on several houses in the rebel-held town of Moadamiyat al-Sham southwest of Damascus killed at least eight children and five women, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
The Britain-based watchdog has confirmed the identities of eight child victims, all members of the same clan, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
"The children were aged between six months and nine years old," Abdel Rahman said, adding that five women were also killed in the strike.
Amateur video posted online by activists, which could not be verified, showed several buildings damaged in the attack. Several bloodied bodies could be seen in the rubble.
Regime warplanes on Monday also struck Daraya, near Moadamiyat al-Sham, said the Observatory without giving details.
According to the watchdog, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers inside Syria, more than 3,500 children have been killed in Syria's 22-month conflict.
On Sunday alone, 14 children were killed, most of them near Damascus, it said.
The army has in recent weeks stepped up its bid to take back key rebel enclaves in towns east and southwest of Damascus, as it seeks to stamp out insurgency around the capital.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, according to United Nations figures.
Syrian shell strikes Turkey, no injuries
The shell dug a deep crater in an olive grove near Akcabaglar in Kilis province, damaging some trees, according to NTV and CNN-Turk.
It was not clear whether it was fired by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or by rebels fighting to oust his regime.
Since the shelling in early October of the Turkish border village of Akcakale killed five civilians, Ankara forces have replied in kind each time Syrian fire hits Turkey, with Damascus generally being held responsible.
To protect NATO member Turkey from possible Syrian threats, the United States, The Netherlands and Germany are to deploy batteries of ground-to-air Patriot missiles and hundreds of soldiers in the next few days along the Syrian border in southern Turkey at the request of Ankara.
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