Syrian Airstrikes Kill 24 Mourners at Aleppo Funeral

Funeral Organized to Mourn 15 Killed in Previous Bombing

by Jason Ditz, August 28, 2016

According to the White Helmets NGO, an airstrike by Syrian and Russian warplanes hit a funeral in the Syrian city of Aleppo over the weekend, killing at least 24 mourners and wounding 30 others. This was the latest in a string of airstrikes against civilians across Aleppo.

Indeed, the funeral itself was organized to mourn the slaying of 15 civilians from a single family who were killed in a previous airstrike, on Thursday, which destroyed the family home. That strike’s victims included at least 11 children.

Witnesses reported that attendees at the funeral scrambled when the first bombs hit, and were quickly caught up in follow-on strikes, adding to the large number of casualties. An ambulance that arrived after the first bombing was also destroyed in the subsequent strikes.

Since February, when al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front pushed into Aleppo, they and the Syrian military have been trading strikes back and forth over the contested city, which was once the financial and industrial capital of the nation. The casualties in these strikes have been overwhelming civilian on both sides, with the population stuck in various residential neighborhoods controlled by one faction or the other and constantly facing bombardment by the other side, along with attempted sieges.

Over the past several days, Syrian government airstrikes have dominated the scene, killing 62 civilians since Thursday, but this sort of momentum tends to change wildly and without notice, meaning at any moment it could be the government districts back under heavy artillery shelling.

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