World Bulletin/News Desk
A Syrian air strike on a headquarters of a rebel brigade along the Turkish border killed at least five people, including children, and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, opposition activists said.
The attack targeted buildings belonging to the Ahrar al-Sham, a rebel unit fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the activists said. A Turkish aid worker said the strike also hit a warehouse on the Syrian side of the border used by aid groups.
"The target appears to be Ahrar al-Sham but most of the fighting brigades have a presence at and around the crossing and it is impossible to get them without harming civilians," said Mohammad, an activist at the crossing, who gave only his first name.
"This is the closest air strike we have seen to the border. The crossing had been seen as a safe haven before," he said. Governor of the southern province of Hatay, Celalettin Lekesiz said that "2 killed Syrians and 54 wounded ones, 19 of them in serious condition, were brought to Hatay, Turkey after Assad forces conducted an air attack on the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing between Turkey and Syria".
Health officials in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli said the local hospital there, which frequently receives Syrian patients from just over the border, had taken "precautions" because of unconfirmed reports that some of the wounded may have come into contact with chemical weapons.
Some Syrian activists said some of the casualties were suffering breathing difficulties but said they did not know what type of munitions had been used in the attack.
"We cannot confirm that there were any chemical weapons involved," Reyhanli mayor Huseyin Sanverdi told Reuters.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday said there was evidence that chemical weapons were used inside Syria but questions remained about their use.
A senior hospital official in Reyhanli said approximately 50 people had been brought in but declined to comment on the nature of their injuries. A Syrian activist speaking from the hospital said more critical cases had been taken to another clinic.
Another activist at the Syrian Bab al-Hawa border gate said people waiting to cross were among those hit.
He added that at least 15 wounded were taken to hospital near the crossing on the Syrian side and among the dead were a one-and-a-half-year-old child and two teenage girls.Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2013, 22:26