US: Rise in Syrian civilian deaths since start of Russian air campaign 'troubling'

December 29, 2015 22:05


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WASHINGTON - The United States has seen a "marked and troubling" increase in reports of Syrian civilian casualties since the start of the Russian air campaign on Sept. 30, a concern U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has raised with Moscow, the State Department said on Tuesday.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said non-governmental groups had issued "extremely disturbing" reports that Russian air strikes had killed hundreds of civilians, including emergency response workers, and had hit medical facilities, schools and markets.

"We've seen a marked and troubling increase in reports of these civilian casualties since Russia commenced its air campaign there," Toner said, noting that Kerry had raised the issue in a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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