Syria strike kills kids; landmark captured

AFP-JIJI, AP

At least 29 people, mostly children, died in a regime missile strike on the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog said Saturday, as Hezbollah-backed regime forces advanced in the flash-point city of Homs.

Nineteen children were among the 29 killed in the northern city’s Bab Nairab neighborhood “in a surface-to-surface missile strike by regime forces” on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based monitoring group relies on a wide network of medics and activists on the ground.

The Observatory said the army was targeting rebel headquarters, including a base of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, “but the missile fell dozens of meters away,” it said.

“My whole family was wiped out, my whole family,” a boy in tears said near the rubble of his home, in a video posted by the Observatory.

On the battlefield in central Syria, Hezbollah-backed regime forces gained ground in the Khaldiyeh district in Homs and captured the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Mosque, expelling rebel forces who had been in control of the 13th-century landmark for more than a year and dealing a symbolic blow to opposition forces in the city that is known as “the capital of the revolution.”

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will review an accord struck with Syria on investigating the use of chemical weapons before any details are announced, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

The U.N. and the Syrian government said late Friday that agreement had been reached “on the way forward” in the probe. The statement did not say whether U.N. inspectors would be allowed into Syria.