Rockets slammed a residential road in northern Syria Thursday, spewing rubble in all directions and terrifying everyone around. As the smoke cleared and the echoing booms faded, more than 20 bodies were found amid the chaos.
The strikes happened in Idlib, a Syrian province that has seen deadly violence for months on end, according to opposition activist Mahmoud Abdallah.
A Syrian fighter jet zoomed overhead and dropped several rockets on the neighborhood in the city of Maraat Numan, killing mostly civilians, Abdallah said.
Twenty-five bodies were found - 15 of them charred beyond recognition, said Mohammed Kanan, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, who visited the site of the attack.
“The first thing I saw was a child crying over a relative buried under the rubble," he said. "The scene was horrific. The smell of burning bodies and the dust was overwhelming.”
Three multi-story buildings were flattened. A nearby mosque housing displaced people was severely damaged, Kanan said.
The area is known to be home to many who have fled other parts of Syria in the bloody conflict.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian fighter jets also targeted and destroyed a field hospital in Idlib, although it had been evacuated in the morning.
A Syrian military building, meanwhile, may have come under attack Thursday. The observatory reports a huge blast in a Damascus suburb, and says early reports indicate it was near a building used by the Palestine Branch - part of Syria's military intelligence operation. There are reports of casualties, the observatory says. There were no reports about the incident on state-run media.
Palestine Branch facilities have been struck by explosions before.
Already Thursday, at least 167 people have been killed across Syria, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. They include four women and eight children.
On state-run media, Syria said its forces inflicted "heavy losses on terrorists in many provinces."
It also complained that the involvement of foreign countries "in supporting and arming the terrorist groups in Syria has recently increased."
Throughout the now 19-month-long crisis, the Syrian government has blamed terrorist groups for violence in the country.
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