Syrian Airstrikes Kill 23 in Damascus Suburb

Clashes Reported in Area, Local Mosque Hit in Strike

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 23 people were killed and dozens wounded in Syrian airstrikes against the rebel-held town of Deir al-Asafir in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus. The casualties included four children, and an unknown number of other civilians.

Though the ceasefire has largely held in this area, fighting in and around nearby Douma was reported between military and rebel forces. The airstrikes hit a number of rebel “civil defense” forces in the town, but also hit a local mosque.

The Syrian government insists that the town targeted is under control of the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and indeed the group is known to have a presence in the area, though other rebel groups deny it is really “in control.”

Nusra isn’t covered by the ceasefire, and targeting them would not be a violation, the close relationship between Nusra and Islamist rebel groups who are in on the ceasefire has seriously complicated the truce, with rebels repeatedly insisting everything done to Nusra is a violation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.