DAMASCUS, Aug 17: The death toll from a Syrian government air strike on a market in Douma northeast of Damascus neared 100, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday, a day after one of the single bloodiest attacks of the four-year war.
A Syrian military source said the air force launched strikes on Sunday on the rebel-held town of Douma and the nearby area of Harasta against an insurgent group, Islam Army, following recent attacks on government-held Damascus.
The Observatory reported that 96 people were killed in the air strike on the market, which is about 10 miles (16 km) from the center of Damascus. Separately, rescue workers said 95 bodies had been identified and that a further nine victims had yet to be named.
An estimated quarter of a million people have been killed in the Syrian civil war that has splintered the country, driven 10 million people from their homes, and drawn in regional states that support the warring sides.
The Syrian political opposition group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said the attack on Douma aimed to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible.
In a statement, the Turkey-based coalition said “the feeble position of the Security Council and the international community is a factor helping in the escalation of massacres against Syrian civilians”.