Human rights activists accuse the Russian air force of bombing the Syrian city of Arbin, killing 37 civilians, Deutsche Welle reports.
According to a twitter post by the Syrian humanitarian organization White Helmets on Friday, March 23, napalm bombs were used during the attack. The majority of victims were women and children, the activists noted.
The White Helmets have repeatedly reported in recent days on the bombings committed by Russian aircraft in the Idlib area.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reports that an incendiary bomb attack, presumably caused by Russian aircraft, was carried out on Arbin. Civilians sheltering from bombardment in shelters "suffocated and were burned” as a result of the attack, the human rights activists noted.
Photographs and videos made by AFP reporters indicate an attack with phosphorous munitions. The use of such munitions in residential areas, the news agency notes, is prohibited by international law.
The Russian Ministry of Defense denied the human rights activists’ reports that Russian military air forces have struck at residential areas of Eastern Ghouta and that they have used incendiary bombs.
Arbin is located in Eastern Ghouta, near the Damascus region, where the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched an offensive more than a month ago. These battles have become the worst since the civil war began seven years ago, dpa notes. At present, government forces have managed to take control of 80% of the territory of Eastern Ghouta and break the territory remaining under rebel control into isolated areas.