Scores reported killed in Syria government air strikes

Bombardments on opposition-held towns have killed at least 44 people and wounded more than 100, Syrian activists say.

Syria barrel bombs
Government-launched barrel bombs have destroyed much of Aleppo's neighbourhood of Ansari [File/EPA]

Syrian government air strikes on opposition-held towns across the country have killed at least 44 people and wounded more than 100, according to activists opposed to the Syrian government.

In Jassem in the southern province of Deraa, 16 civilians were killed in four air strikes on Monday, while 25 were wounded, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said.

The strikes came in response to a major rebel offensive that has been under way in southern Syria for months, said the SOHR.

Rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have suffered a spate of defeats at the hands of his forces, but they still have the upper hand in Deraa.

Elsewhere, air strikes on Douma, the besieged rebel-held town east of Damascus, killed at least 10 civilians and wounded dozens more.

An AFP photographer in Douma said the strikes hit residential areas and that most of the wounded were children.

At Khan Sheikhun in the northwestern province of Idlib, 15 people were killed, including a former army officer who had defected from loyalist ranks to join opposition forces.

Another three people were killed in strikes elsewhere in Syria – one in Aleppo province, a second in Damascus province and a third in Busra al-Sham in Deraa province.

On a separate front, Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group made fresh advances near Kobane, seizing a new string of villages a week after the flashpoint town was recaptured from the ISIL fighters.

The US-led coalition targeting the fighters in both Syria and Iraq reported on Monday it had launched 10 air strikes against ISIL in Syria – nine near Kobane and one at Deir Ezzor in the east.

Another 17 strikes targeted the fighters in neighbouring Iraq, the Pentagon said.

Source: Al Jazeera