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Five children were killed while playing near a monastery in the Syrian Christian town of al-Suqaylabiyah in what is believed to be an attack carried out by Islamic extremists.
According to the nonprofit NGO International Christian Concern, Syrian opposition forces fired rockets into a regime-held Christian-majority town in northwestern Syria on Sunday, May 12.
Children - Woman - Street - Eight - Others
Those killed included five children aged 6 to 10, and one woman on a nearby street. Eight others, including six children, were wounded.
“The kids went out to play after some days of calm,” Father Maher Haddad, a local priest, told the Associated Press. The report continued, “A rocket struck near a group of children, instantly killing five and wounding others … the woman was killed in a nearby street by a separate rocket.”
Orthodox - Town - Material - Damage - Result
The Greek Orthodox town also suffered widespread material damage as a result of the attack.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the AP notes the rockets were fired from nearby Idlib, where Al-Qaeda affiliate Tahrir al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army remain active. Tahrir al-Sham has a history of attempting to seize Christian towns in the area of al-Suqaylabiyah.
State - Media - Regime - Attack - Shells
Syrian state media says that the regime retaliated against the al-Suqaylabiyah attack by firing shells toward insurgents on the southern edge of Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in the country.
Fighting has escalated between government forces and non-state armed groups in northwest Syria in recent weeks, according to UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Since April 30, Syrian troops have been on the offensive and have repeatedly launched airstrikes against rebel forces there.
Escalation - Violence - Displacement - People
The escalation in violence has prompted the displacement of more than 180,000 people in...
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