Syria barrel bombs kill 71 civilians
Barrel bombs dropped from regime helicopters killed at least 71 civilians in Syria's Aleppo province yesterday, after forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad retreated from the neighbouring northwestern region of Idlib.
Insurgents now control the vast majority of Idlib after Al-Nusra Front -- al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate -- and its allies overran the last remaining regime-held city and surrounding villages.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "at least 71 civilians were killed, and dozens were wounded, when regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the city of Al-Bab and in Al-Shaar in east Aleppo city".
Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Britain-based monitoring group, said 12 people were killed in rebel-held Al-Shaar, including eight members of a single family.
Al-Bab lies about 40 kilometres northeast of Aleppo city and is controlled by the extremist Islamic State group. Those who killed were all male.