Al-Nusra Front carried out attack on Syria displaced camp: Russia

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Saturday, 07 May 2016

Russia’s Defense Ministry has accused the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terror group of carrying out a recent deadly attack on a camp for internally displaced persons in northwestern Syria.

"Judging by the damage shown in photographs and video, the camp may have been shelled either on purpose or by mistake by multiple rocket launchers, which are currently being used very actively in this area by terrorists from al-Nusra," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

Konashenkov also said that no Russian or other warplanes were flying over the Kamuna camp near the Syrian town of Sarmada in Idlib province at the time of the Thursday attack.

"We have attentively studied the information from the air space monitoring data in this area for May 4 and 5, 2016. There were no flights by Russian or any other aircraft over Sarmada," Konashenkov noted.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 28 civilians, including women and children, lost their lives and 50 others sustained injuries in the raid.

Earlier on Friday, the Syrian military dismissed allegations that its jets had carried out the strike.

“There is no truth to reports... about the Syrian air force targeting a camp for the displaced in the Idlib countryside,” the military said in a statement.

Idlib is controlled by the al-Nusra Front and its militant allies. The makeshift camp, located close to Turkey’s border, is home to nearly 2,000 displaced people.

Truce extension

The Russian Defense Ministry also announced that a ceasefire in the northern part of the Syrian province of Latakia and the northwestern city of Aleppo has been extended at Moscow’s initiative for 72 hours, starting from May 7.

"So as not to allow the situation to further worsen, the regime of calm in the northern districts of Latakia province and the city of Aleppo has been extended at Russia's initiative for 72 hours starting 00:01 a.m. May 7 (2101 GMT on Friday)," the Russian center for the reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria said on Friday.

Syrian government forces and foreign-backed militants started enforcing a freeze in fighting in parts of Latakia and Damascus regions from 1:00 a.m. (2200 GMT) on April 30. The ceasefire in Aleppo went into effect on Wednesday at 00:01 a.m. Damascus time.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country's pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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