As part of their recent focus on the most vulnerable targets, Islamic State militants shelled a school in eastern Syria on Tuesday morning, killing at least nine schoolgirls and wounding another 20 people.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the school was located in the Harabish neighborhood, a district under Islamic State control in the area of Deir al-Zor city.
According to Syrian state media, a source at the Interior Ministry confirmed that nine girls had been killed by rocket shells fired by ISIS terrorists.
In a statement, the Cabinet condemned the most recent Islamic State attack, and Prime Minister Wael al-Haqi reiterated that such crimes against schools and universities would not deter authorities from continuing the educational process for the future generations to rebuild the country and counter radical extremist thought.
Also on Tuesday, ISIS fighters bombed neighborhoods around the city of Aleppo, killing another six civilians, including three girls, as well as shelling towns around the countryside of Hama, and the Masaken Barzah area outside the capital city of Damascus.
Shells left more than 40 civilians injured, including children and women, some of whom are in critical condition.
ISIS has often targeted Syrian schools in its acts of terror. Last week, Islamic State air and missile attacks on a school district and other areas around the suburbs of Damascus killed dozens.
These attacks follow the pattern of targeting the most defenseless civilians. Last week the Islamic State reportedly issued a fatwa against children with Down syndrome and other congenital disabilities.
A sharia judge ruled that ISIS followers are authorized to kill infants with Down Syndrome or congenital deformities, and at least 38 small children had already been killed by lethal injection or suffocation since the fatwa had been declared, according to the Iraqi activist blog Mosul Eye.
The killings reportedly took place in ISIS strongholds in Syria and Mosul, the northern Iraqi city seized by ISIS in June 2014.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome