Syria air strikes: 'At least five children killed' in Raqqa school as Britain debates joining bombing

Activists reported that a school was hit in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 26 November 2015 20:36 GMT
There was no confirmation of which country carried out the strike
There was no confirmation of which country carried out the strike

At least five children have been killed in an air strike on a school in Isis’ Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, activists report.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), a collective of citizen journalists chronicling the extremist group’s atrocities, said eight civilians were killed and 12 more wounded at “Heten” school.

A photo published by the group on social media appeared to show large pieces of metal shrapnel from rockets used in the raid.

The area around the school has reportedly been used by Isis militants to stage gruesome punishments inflicted under its interpretation of sharia law.

RBSS founder Abu Mohammed wrote that a young man had his hand cut off after being accused of stealing a motorbike earlier on Thursday and the group reported a woman being stoned to death in front of Heten school after being accused of adultery in August.

Activists did not say which country was believed to have launched today's strike but Raqqa is a key target for the US-led international coalition bombing Isis.

The US has admitted accidentally killing children and civilians in Syrian strikes, while several cases are still under investigation and other countries have been accused of hitting non-Isis targets.

Of at least 3,952 people killed so far in the coalition campaign in Syria, roughly 250 were civilians, according to a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report.

The group found the toll from Russian strikes was far higher, counting 403 civilian deaths including 166 women and children on top of 7,000 civilians allegedly killed in 13 months of air strikes by Bashar al-Assad’s regime forces. The count could not be independently verified.

The latest alleged civilian casualties came as British MPs debated David Cameron’s proposal to extend RAF air strikes from Iraq into Syria.

PM: Bombing Syria is necessary

He urged the House of Commons to support the intervention it rejected two years ago, saying it would protect the UK against the threat posed by Isis terror.

But Jeremy Corbyn said he could not support the move and wrote a letter to Labour MPs arguing the Prime Minister had not laid out a “coherent strategy”.

Francois Hollande has been pushing for a widened international coalition against Isis and was meeting Vladimir Putin in Moscow today.

The French President increased efforts to unite France, the US and Russia and other nations following the Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

Isis claimed responsibility for the atrocity as well as the Beirut bombings and downing of a Russian passenger plane in an unprecedented slew of terror attacks over the past month.

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