'Bashar did this. God help us, these animals will kill us all'
Syrian town of Azaz, north of border with Turkey suffers air raid
Air raids on the Syrian town of Azaz, north of the Turkish border, has
left dozens dead. Analysts say the attack, that killed mostly civilians,
is a sign from President Bashar al-Assad's regime that they don't want
rebel forces encamped there. "Bashar did this. God help us, these
animals will kill us all," one man said.
The bombings by government forces in Azaz did not appear to hit specific rebel targets, although one of the sites was near the local rebels' political and media offices.
The bombings by government forces did not appear to hit specific rebel targets, although one of the sites was near the local rebels' political and media offices.
"We know that it started around 3 o'clock in the afternoon when the jets came and started bombing an area of the town, their target we were told was a former Baath headquarters which is now where the Free Syria Army have their base," Al Jazeera correspondent Stefanie Dekker says.
"But as you could see from those pictures it is mostly civilians who where affected by the air strikes. A whole row of residential homes have been completely leveled, with horrific pictures of children trapped underneath the rubble."
Survivors began to pull bodies from the rubble. "This was a civilian area. All these houses were packed with women and children sleeping during the fast," one witness said, referring to the dawn-to-dusk fast Muslims observe during Ramadan.
The Syrian uprising is now entering its 18th month and has killed more than 23,000 people, according to activists.
"Azaz is a critical town for the opposition since it's close to the Turkish border where it offers them a free way in and out of Turkey into Azaz and on to Aleppo," Dekker said.
On the pavement outside the hospital, body parts had been heaped in a pile under a blanket. "Nobody knows how high the toll will climb now. It could take days to finish searching through the rubble," a Saudi Arabian doctor who arrived at the scene said.
"I'm a radiologist, not a surgeon, but I'll do anything I can to help. There is only one other doctor at Azaz hospital, an anesthetist."
In the meantime, at least 25 people have been killed in government shelling of Qadi Askar district in Aleppo.
United Nations Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos said on Thursday as many as 2.5 million people were in need of aid in Syria, where al-Assad's forces have been fighting rebels seeking his overthrow for 17 months.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Syria, Azaz, Bashar, civilians killed, uprising
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