The Latest: UN chief calls for consequences for Syria strike

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Posted: May 06, 2016 1:30 PM
The Latest: UN chief calls for consequences for Syria strike

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says there should be serious consequences for whoever is responsible for a "seemingly calculated attack" on a refugee camp in Syria.

Ban said in a statement issued on Friday that he was outraged by the attack, which could constitute a war crime.

The statement added that U.N. was working with humanitarian partners on the ground, to assess the needs and mobilizing a response for those who fled the camp fearing further attacks.

Thursday's attack in Syria's Idlib province killed at least 28 people, including women and children, at makeshift camp for displaced persons.

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8:20 p.m.

The Turkish branch of an international relief organization has denounced the airstrike in northern Syria the previous night that killed 28 in a camp for people displaced by the fighting, saying the attack is "abhorrent."

Meghan Garrity, deputy director of program for Turkey's International Rescue Committee, which oversees relief efforts in northern Syria, says that the "killing of innocent people in a place where they had hoped to find safety is abhorrent."

Garrity added that the attack was a "disturbing new low in a war that has already shocked the world with routine attacks against hospitals, schools and bakeries."

She stressed that "it's not the first such attack," and that the IRC is aware of seven other displacement camps that have been hit by airstrikes or indirect fire since March.

IRC aid workers reach 40,000 displaced by war every day in northern Syria.

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4:45 p.m.

Russia's military says no Russian or any other aircraft made flights over the camp for displaced people in northern Syria where air strikes left at least 28 people dead.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that the Russian military had closely studied data from an air space monitoring system and determined that no aircraft had flown over the Sarmada camp on Wednesday or Thursday.

Konashenkov says the destruction seen on photographs and videos suggested that the camp could have been shelled, whether intentionally or by mistake, from multiple rocket launchers that the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syria affiliate, has been using in the area.

The camp in a rebel-held area near the Turkish border was hit on Thursday. The attack killed at least 28 civilians, including women and children.

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3:30 p.m.

France is expressing the "strongest condemnation" of the air strikes on camps for displaced people in Syria that left at least 28 people dead, including women and children.

A statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday said the bombings "could be constitutive of a war crime and a crime against humanity" and that France wants an independent investigation into this "odious act."

The statement attributed the bombings to the Syrian government and insisted those who carried out the "revolting and unacceptable" attacks must be brought to justice.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will meet on Monday in Paris with Riad Hijab, the head of the Western-backed Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee.

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3 p.m.

The U.N. human rights chief is condemning as "murderous attacks" air strikes on camps for displaced people in Syria that left at least 28 people dead, including women and children.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Friday that the bombings a day earlier in Sarmada, in a rebel-held area near Syria's northwestern border with Turkey, appeared to be evidence of "a particularly despicable and calculated crime."

He said initial but as-yet unverified reports suggested government aircraft carried out the attacks. A Syrian military official has denied any army operation against the camp.

Zeid said: "It is hard to find any more words to describe the horror" facing Syrian civilians, noting they have been tortured in prisons, subjected to xenophobia in Europe, and bombed and killed in homes, hospitals, camps and the streets.

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10:30 a.m.

Activists say a coalition of Syrian rebels and hard-line jihadists have seized a strategic village from pro-government forces just 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the contested city of Aleppo.

The Britain-based monitoring group The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at Friday that least 43 insurgents and 30 pro-government fighters died in the battle for Khan Touman.

Aleppo-area opposition media activist Bahaa al-Halaby says the insurgents took control of Khan Touman around 7 a.m.

The offensive signals the reemergence of the powerful Jaish al-Fatah, or Army of Conquest, jihadist coalition in the conflict. It is made up predominantly of militants from al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate, the Nusra Front, and other ultraconservative factions. The Observatory says other non-jihadist rebels fought for Khan Touman on the side of the coalition, too.