BEIRUT – A regime warplane killed 16 people — half of them children — in a strike on the city of Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The strike came as the watchdog reported seven people killed in air raids on the Aleppo city of Al-Bab, and that similar strikes hit Aazaz, only 7 km south of neighboring Turkey, where a Patriot missile battery went operational Saturday.
Video footage filmed by an activist and posted on YouTube showed scenes of pandemonium in Manbij as dozens of men rushed to the bombed-out ground floors of multistory buildings to dig out people buried beneath. A grief-stricken woman wailed as she stumbled from the scene holding her child. A man, his jacket covered in dust, screamed as he ran away carrying a child covered in blood while another bolted past holding a toddler, who could be seen wiping tears off his ash-covered face.
In northern neighbor Turkey, NATO said one of six batteries of Patriot missiles deployed to protect against a spillover of the 22-month conflict went into operation. The battery, provided by the Netherlands, would “help to protect the (southern) city and people of Adana against missile threats,” it said, adding the other five batteries should be ready in the coming days.