Syria's army has barrel-bombed a displaced persons camp in the north, according to residents, with video footage appearing to show charred and dismembered bodies. Regime forces have repeatedly hit the Idlib province.
State media did not report Wednesday's bombing, but footage posted to YouTube showed corpses of women, children and burning tents while people scrambled to save the wounded at the camp in the Idlib province. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in the civil war, reported that 10 civilians had died.
"It's a massacre of refugees," a voice off camera says in the YouTube video. "Let the whole world see this," the man's voice adds. "They are displaced people. Look at them: They are civilians, displaced civilians. They fled the bombardment."
A man in another video of the Abedin camp, which houses people who had escaped fighting in the neighboring Hama province, said as many as 75 people had died. News agencies could not independently confirm the attack.
One video shows a man arriving at the scene on a motorbike. He runs into the camp and screams at others to pick up the bodies, trying to convince them that the people on the ground with limbs missing might still survive if taken to hospital.
"This one's good!" he shouts, telling two men to carry a limp body with one leg hanging from strips of flesh to a nearby pickup truck. "This one's good!" He adds: "Pick him up from the stomach not the leg."
Heavy civilian toll
Rights groups allege that Syria's army has regularly dropped barrel bombs - crudely made containers filled with nails, metal shrapnel and explosives - from helicopters on densely populated neighborhoods in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution banning such indiscriminate weaponry. Such groups have also accused both Syria's government and insurgent groups of killing civilians and destroying homes.
The civil war has displaced nearly 10 million of Syria's roughly 23 million people since it began three years ago as a series of peaceful pro-democracy protests were quickly and violently put down by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. More than 3 million refugees have fled the country, and the conflict has killed close to 200,000 people, according to the United Nations.
The exodus has overwhelmed neighboring countries. Following an international conference Tuesday in Berlin to aid those who have fled the conflict, Germany's Cabinet drafted a bill to ease rules for asylum seekers.
Currently, residents of the Kurdish town of Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, are besieged by fighters from the "Islamic State" group.
mkg/av (Reuters, AFP)