Millennium Post

Airstrike in Hama kills 8 White Helmets rescuers

Airstrike in Hama kills 8 White Helmets rescuers
Airstrikes struck a center of Syria's rescuers known as the White Helmets in a rebel-held area in the country's center, killing eight volunteers, opposition activists said on Saturday. The airstrike was one of the deadliest against the rescuers who operate in opposition-held areas and who have garnered world attention for operating in extreme conditions, pulling survivors out of recently struck areas. The volunteers have often been targeted by government airstrikes, in what are known as 'double tap' attacks, as they work to rescue others.

The local White Helmets in the central Hama province said an air raid on one of their centers in Kfar Zeita killed eight members of the team. The group said five bodies were lifted from the rubble and the rescuers continued to look for the others. The Britain-based opposition monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the number of those killed is likely to rise as the search mission continues. It was not clear who carried out the airstrikes, as Syrian government and Russia aircraft have targeted opposition-held areas. The central Hama province have been scene to intense violence in recent weeks, as the government attempts to push back a rebel offensive.

Separately Saturday, Syria's military said its troops and allied fighters repelled an attack by the Islamic State group on a strategic area held by the government in southern Aleppo province. The attack took place in Khanaser, southeast Aleppo — a strategic region that links Aleppo with central and western Syria. The area has changed hands many times during the conflict. But last year, government troops and allied fighters wrested control of Khanaser from IS.

The military media arm said IS attacked Um Mayyal village near a mountain range in Khanaser and other areas.

The Observatory said IS fighters launched the attack on military posts in the area, triggering intense clashes and leaving many casualties. IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency claimed IS fighters killed 30 government soldiers in the attack. Near the capital, hundreds of Syrians from the rebel-held suburbs of eastern Ghouta near Damascus protested against infighting between the insurgent groups that began Friday and left dozens killed in the area. The infighting came amid an intensified government offensive in the area near Damascus.
Agencies

Agencies

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