Russia raids on Qaeda-run Syria prison kill at least 39

The strikes hit an Al-Nusra Front building, which lies near a popular market in Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Russia raids on Qaeda-run Syria prison kill at least 39
Representative photo

Beirut: Russian strikes today on a prison complex run by Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate in the country's northwest killed at least 39 people, including five civilians, a monitoring group said.

The strikes hit an Al-Nusra Front building, which lies near a popular market in Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The building housed the group's religious court and a jail.

Most of those killed were rebels imprisoned by Al-Nusra, while other victims included prison guards and Al-Nusra fighters.

Among the dead were five civilians, including a child.

Russian warplanes have been conducting air strikes against the Islamic State organisation and "other terrorist groups" in Syria since September 30.

Although Al-Nusra and IS are both jihadist organisations, they are fierce rivals and regularly clash in Syria.

Al-Nusra also has tense relationships with non-jihadist rebel groups that oppose its extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

In Idlib, it has formed an alliance with rebel groups, including hardline faction Ahrar al-Sham.

The Army of Conquest coalition has expelled regime forces from Idlib province.

The Britain-based Observatory has an extensive network of sources inside Syria and identifies casualties by the type of aircraft flown and the munitions used.

Syria's conflict first erupted with anti-government demonstrations in March 2011 but quickly morphed into a war that has left more than 260,000 people dead. 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close