Syria launches 60 airstrikes on rebel positions

Syria launches 60 airstrikes on rebel positions

Syria launches 60 airstrikes on rebel positions

The Syrian air force carried out as many as 60 airstrikes against rebel positions in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus reportedly killing 70 people, including 11 rebel fighters, a monitoring group said Friday.

The strikes Thursday targeted the tense suburbs of Arbeen, Douma, Kafr Batna and Ayn Tarma, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It said children and women were among those killed, adding that dozens of people were wounded as well, some of whom are in critical conditions.

The intensified airstrikes came against the backdrop of the mortar and rocket attacks launched by the so-called Islam Army early Thursday against residential neighbourhoods inside the capital, mainly the upscale neighbourhoods of Mazzeh, Malki, Tijara.

The observatory said the Islam Army fired over 120 rockets on the government-controlled districts in the capital, killing and wounding around 60 people.

The state-run media outlets said the rebels' mortars exploded at several districts in the northern province of Aleppo and Latakia as well, also leaving losses.

On Tuesday evening, head of the so-called Islam Army, Zahran Alloush, said on his official Twitter account that he would target military and security positions in Damascus, warning citizens against venturing out.

The warning came a week after the same group fired over 90 mortar rounds at the capital, leaving many people killed or wounded.

The tactic is aimed at destabilising daily life in the capital and instilling fear in the hearts of residents in the capital.

Alloish said the mortar attacks were also a retaliation against the government troops' shelling and airstrikes on rebel-held areas.

Alloush tweeted again Thursday, saying that letting the Syrian forces "taste a bit of what the people of the Eastern Ghouta are feeling".

"The attack would continue until we purge Damascus." State news agency SANA said Friday that the Syrian troops killed dozens of rebels in Douma and other hotbeds east of Damascus.

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