3,800 civilians have been killed in a year of Russian airstrikes, say monitors

About 3,800 civilians have been killed in war-ravaged Syria during a year of unrelenting Russian airstrikes, a monitoring group says. They are among more than 9,300 people who have died in the raids since September 30, 2015, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Others to die include 2,700 jihadists from the Islamic State group and an estimated 2,800 fighters from other rebel factions. Another 20,000 civilians or more have been wounded in the Russian raids, the British-based group claims.

Let me be clear, east Aleppo this minute is not at the edge of the precipice, it is well into its terrible descent into the pitiless and merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed in Syria

UN humanitarian official Stephen O'Brien

The observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information, says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved. Director Rami Abdel Rahman said the death toll from Russia strikes could be even higher given the number of people killed by unidentified warplanes. The figures emerged as Syrian government forces and rebels waged fierce battles north of Aleppo on Friday. Syrian government forces, in the middle of a major offensive to recapture the city, earlier made a significant advance, capturing the Handarat refugee camp a few miles to the north.