Human Rights Watch: At least two air strikes in northern Homs on October 15, 2015, that local residents believed to be Russian, apparently violated the laws of war. The air strikes killed a total of 59 civilians, residents said, including 33 children and a commander of the local armed opposition group. Russia should investigate the attacks.
The deadliest attack hit a house in the village of Ghantou, where the extended Assaf family had taken shelter, killing a reported 46 family members, all civilians, including 32 children and 12 women, first responders and local activists said. The victims were related to a local commander affiliated with the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), but witnesses said that he was away from the home at the front lines. The second air strike, on the neighboring town of Ter Maaleh, hit near a bakery, and according to local witnesses, killed at least 13 civilians as well as a local FSA commander who was a Syrian army defector. It is not clear whether he was the intended target, as neither Russia nor Syria have issued statements about the specific air strikes. [Continue reading…]