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Deadly Russian airstrikes target Idlib marketplace despite Syria ceasefire

Russian airstrikes attacked a marketplace in Idlib province on Saturday [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 14 January, 2017

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Syrian regime-aligned Russian fighter jets bombed rebel-held towns in Idlib province on Saturday, killing several civilians despite a nationwide ceasefire.
Civilians were killed on Saturday after Russian warplanes attacked towns across Syria's Idlib province.

At least ten people have been killed and 21 injured in several raids on residential areas and shops in towns including Ma'aret Misrin, with the death toll expected to rise, reported Turkish Anadolu news agency.

A number of women and children were killed in the airstrike, the report said, quoting a civil defence official.

Volunteers rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue victims stuck under the debris.

Stores at the marketplace in Ma'aret Misrin also sustained severe damage.

Idlib province is largely controlled by a powerful alliance of opposition forces known as the Army of Conquest, which is dominated by Fateh al-Sham.

Pro-regime news outlet al-Masdar News reported the Russian military was responsible for the attacks, which killed and wounded several rebels.

The strikes were "meant to warn (rebels) against anymore unprovoked attacks against civilians" on two government-held villages of Foua and Kafraya in northwestern Syria under rebel siege, al-Masdar said.

The attacks come despite a fragile two-week-old nationwide ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russia and ahead of peace talks scheduled to take place in Kazakh capital Astana on 23 January.

The truce does not include Fateh al-Sham - formerly known as al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front - or the Islamic State (IS) group.

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