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Suspected Russian jets bombard Syria's rebel-held Idlib, killing dozens Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Suspected Russian jets bombard Syria's rebel-held Idlib, killing dozens

At least 26 civilians are dead and dozens wounded in Idlib [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 February, 2017

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Airstrikes reportedly by Russian jets have killed at least 26 civilians and destroyed several high-rise buildings in Syria's rebel-held Idlib city.
At least 26 people have died in airstrikes in the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib on Tuesday, in some of the heaviest raids there in months.

Around ten attacks by what were believed to be Russian jets wounded scores of people and crushed several multi-storey buildings in residential areas of the northwestern city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

"We are still pulling bodies from the rubble," Issam al Idlibi, a volunteer civil defence worker, told Reuters. Most of the casualties were civilians and the death toll would probably rise, he added.

The extent of the damage and the debris bore the hallmarks of a Russian attack, said two witnesses. There was no immediate comment from Moscow.

Russian planes have targeted a number of towns and villages in the area since entering the Syrian conflict in September 2015 to back ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Planes from the US-led coalition, as well as Russian and Syrian forces, have launched a number of attacks in the rural province, a major stronghold of Fateh al-Sham rebels, formerly affiliated to al-Qaeda and not party to the Russia-Turkey brokered ceasefire that went into effect on 30 December.

Idlib's population has been swollen by thousands of Syrian fighters and their families who were evacuated from villages and towns around Damascus and Aleppo city retaken by the government in recent months.

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