By Mohamed Sheikh Yusuf
A total of 2,704 Syrian civilians have been killed by Russian airstrikes since last September, when Moscow began a massive air campaign aimed at shoring up Syria’s embattled Bashar al-Assad regime, a Syrian NGO reported on Tuesday.
In a new report, the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said at least 746 children and 514 women had been among those slain by fierce Russian air raids carried out against anti-regime targets in Syria.
According to the report, most of the fatalities were registered in Syria’s northern Aleppo province (1,178), followed by the northern Idlib province (652) and the eastern Deir ez-Zor province (331).
Late last September, Russia -- a major ally of the Syrian regime -- began a vast air campaign aimed at degrading the capabilities of Syria’s anti-regime opposition.
"Neither the Russian government nor parliament has called for an investigation into these crimes," SNHR Director Fadl Abdul-Ghani said in the report.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which had erupted as part of that year’s "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity and disproportionate force.
Since then, more than a quarter million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to UN figures.
However, the Syrian Center for Policy Research, an NGO until recently based in Damascus, has put the total death toll from the ongoing conflict at more than 470,000.