A man looks at one of the walls of the secondary school that activists say was hit by an air strike from forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in Raqqa, eastern Syria. REUERS/Nour Fourat
At least 16 people, most of them students, have been killed
in an air strike that hit a secondary school in the
rebel-held Syrian city of Raqqa, activists say.
Fighting continued across the country including in the
outskirts of the capital, underlining the relentless nature
of the civil war in the face of international efforts to
destroy Syria's chemical arms and revive peace talks.
Raqqa in northeastern Syria has been under the control of
insurgents fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad since
March but the city has been regularly bombed by government
Videos posted online by activists showed the bloody and
charred remains of bodies said to have been from the air
strike in Raqqa. Some of the victims appeared to be young
men, possibly in their teens.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a
monitoring group with a network of sources across the
country, said the death toll was at least 16 - 10 of them
students at the school - but that the number was likely to
rise because some people were critically wounded.
Fighting also continued in the southern Deraa province, a day
after rebels in that area - including the al Qaeda-linked
Nusra Front - seized a former customs post on the southern
border with Jordan.
On the outskirts of the capital, an attack by rebels on
military bases in the Qalamoun area killed at least 19
government fighters and wounded dozens of others Late on
Saturday, the Observatory said.
The death toll from a car bomb on Friday in the town of
Rankus north of Damascus also rose to 34, the Observatory
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's
conflict, which started as a peaceful uprising in March 2011
and turned into a civil war after a violent government
crackdown on civilian demonstrators.
Reporting restrictions make it difficult to independently
verify events inside Syria.
The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on Friday that
demands the eradication of Syria's chemical weapons,
following an Aug. 21 sarin nerve gas attack on a Damascus
suburb that killed hundreds.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the vote that
big powers hoped to hold a peace conference on Syria in
mid-November in Geneva.
The international envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said on
Sunday that date was "not 100 percent certain" and urged
Syria's fractious opposition groups to unify behind one
delegation at the planned meeting.
"If there are different delegations, I worry that this will
lead to failure, not success," he told the al-Arabiya news