Beirut: Syrian government airstrikes have killed at least 14 people in the northern province of Raqqa less than a week after rebels seized the area`s provincial capital, activists said on Sunday, while the UN`s top official for refugee affairs said the number of people fleeing Syria could triple this year if the war continues.
The city of Raqqa, home to a half million people before Syria`s uprising, could prove a test case for how rebels administer areas they capture.
The rebel groups that led the battle for the city are strongly Islamist, some of them extremists, and videos released over the weekend indicate some fighters have summarily executed prisoners.
Recent government airstrikes, meanwhile, show the limits of rebel control. Even if they hold the ground, they can do little about the government`s air force, which often bombards areas recently captured by the rebels, killing fighters and civilians alike.