The current biggest killer of civilians in Syria is not the country’s army or the Islamic State terror group – but Russia itself, according to an independent watchdog.
An analysis by the Syrian Network for Human Rights alleges that throughout January, Russian airstrikes caused 679 of the 1,382 civilian deaths in Syria that month, Newsweek reported Monday.
The watchdog group uses Syrian civil servants to confirm death tolls, and said out of the 679 civilians Russia is alleged to have killed, 94 were children and 73 were women.
The report said ISIS was responsible for 98 deaths in January, while the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front was responsible for 42.
The watchdog says Russia’s kill total comes mainly from air strikes on contested cities such as Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa.
Russia has repeatedly denied that its operations in Syria have been hitting civilian targets.