Air raids kill at least 76 in Aleppo

AFP-JIJI, AP

Syrian regime air raids using barrel bombs on rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo over the weekend killed at least 76 people, including 28 children, activists said Monday.

The number of people “killed after the bombing of areas in the city of Aleppo with explosive-packed barrels . . . rose to 76,” including “28 children and four women,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A previous toll from the Observatory — which relies on a network of activists, lawyers and medics for its information — had put the number of killed at 36, among them 15 children.

The leaders of Syria’s main Western-backed moderate rebel faction meanwhile said they would do everything in their power to protect journalists on assignment in the country and work to secure the release of those who have already been abducted.

The letter from the Supreme Military Council, the military wing of the Syrian National Coalition, came in response to an appeal from 13 major international news organizations calling for urgent action against rebel groups targeting journalists for kidnappings. Syria has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, and the number of abductions has soared to an unprecedented level over the past year.