London [United Kingdom], Oct.27 (ANI
): At least 26 people, most of them school children, have been killed in airstrikes by Syrian or Russian warplanes in a village in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, rescue workers and a monitoring group have said.
The Syrian civil defence rescue workers' network said on its Facebook account that a residential area and a school in Haas village were hit by raids on Wednesday.
Syria's civil war pits President Bashar al-Assad - backed by Russia, Iran and Shia Muslim militias from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan - against an array of mostly Sunni Muslim rebel groups, including some backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the US, reports the Guardian.
Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said: "It's horrible, I hope we were not involved. It's the easiest thing for me to say no, but I'm a responsible person, so I need to see what my ministry of defence is going to say."
Idlib holds the largest populated area controlled by rebels - both nationalist groups under the banner of the Free Syrian Army and Islamist ones including the former al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
According to the civil defence network, which operates in rebel-held areas in the country, 20 children had died in Wednesday's attacks.
Visuals of the site showed buildings were reduced to rubble, including what appeared to be a school with upturned desks and chairs covered in dust.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, has said that several locations in Haas were struck by the warplanes including an elementary and middle school, killing at least one teacher as well as children, though it gave a lower toll of 15 children killed. (ANI