Missile Strike Kills 23 in Aleppo as Mortars Hit near Damascus Presidential Palaceإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Ten children were among at least 23 people killed in an apparent surface-to-surface missile strike on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.
"It is likely a surface-to-surface missile strike" hit Jabal Badro on the edge of Aleppo late on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said
Ten children aged under 16 years and three women were among the dead, and the "toll is likely to rise as bodies are being rescued from under the rubble," the Britain-based Observatory said, adding that people were critically injured.
There were no planes overhead when the missile hit, according to residents cited by the Observatory, and the extent of the destruction indicated a surface-to-surface missile was likely used, director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse.
Abu Hisham, an Aleppo-based citizen journalist who spoke to AFP via the Internet, said "housing in the district was informally built. It took one surface-to-surface rocket to destroy an entire neighborhood."
Video footage and photographs shot by activists in Aleppo, scene of fierce fighting since the army launched an all-out assault to stop a rebel advance on Syria's second city on July 20, showed massive destruction in Jabal Badro.
Amateur video posted online by the anti-regime Aleppo Media Center showed crowds of people gathering around hills of rubble and a bulldozer shoveling the debris as residents searched for relatives.
"I swear to God! I rescued a baby aged just two months from the rubble!" cried an unidentified man interviewed by an amateur cameraman.
AFP could not authenticate the video.
Meanwhile, two mortar shells fired by "terrorists" exploded near the Tishreen presidential palace in the west of the Syrian capital on Tuesday, state news agency SANA reported.
The mortars "landed near the southern wall of Tishreen palace, only causing damage", SANA quoted an unnamed official as saying, blaming "terrorists" for the attack.
Activists have reported the army's use of surface-to-surface missiles on various targets in northern Syria since late 2012.
A security source in Damascus told AFP late last year that such missiles were a Syrian-made version of the Scud, and NATO has since reported ballistic missiles being used in Syria.