Activists: Syria Army Warplanes Bomb Olive Press, Civilians Killed

Dozens killed or wounded in Assad air raid, activists say; hundreds killed in recent Assad raids on Syrian rebels in recent months.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Syrian warplanes bombed an olive press factory in the country's north on Tuesday, killing and wounding dozens of people, including farmers who were waiting to convert their olives to oil, activists said.

Two activist groups, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, say the factory is west of the city of Idlib. The LCC says at least 20 people were killed and many others wounded in the raid, while the Observatory said "tens were killed or wounded."

Both groups depend on a network of activists on the ground around the country

President Bashar Assad's regime has been launching intense air raids on rebels in recent months, mostly in Idlib, the nearby province of Aleppo, Deir el-Zour to the east and suburbs of the capital Damascus.

The most recent air raids have killed hundreds of people, including eight children on Sunday in the village of Deir al-Asafir near the capital Damascus.

Olive oil is a main staple in Syria. Tens of thousands of tons are produced annually.

Fadi al-Yassin, an activist based in Idlib, told The Associated Press by telephone that dozens of people had gathered to have their olives pressed when the warplanes struck, causing a large number of casualties.

It was not immediately clear why the olive press was targeted. "It was a massacre carried out by the regime." said al-Yassin.

"Now is the season to press oil," said al-Yassin, noting that since many olive press factories are not functioning in the area because of the fighting in the region. A large number of people were at the one near the city of Idlib.

"Functioning olive press factories are packed with people these days," he said.

The Observatory also reported heavy fighting on the southern edge of the strategic rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan, captured from government troops last month.

The town is on the highway that links the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest, a commercial center that has been the scene of clashes between rebels and troops since July.

The Observatory and al-Yassin said air raids on Maaret al-Numan killed at least five rebels.

Syria's conflict started in March 2011 as an uprising against Assad's regime, but quickly morphed into a civil war that has since killed more than 40,000 people, according to activists.y to make pea

A view of the damaged Dar Al Shifa Hospital in Al Shaar district in Aleppo November 25, 2012.Credit: Reuters

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott