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Syrian school hit by 'Russian rockets' in Idlib province Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Syrian school hit by 'Russian rockets' in Idlib province

Syria's Idlib province has been targeted in new missile strikes [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 April, 2019

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Idlib province has been bombarded by Russian rockets according to Syrian activists.
Russian rocket strikes in Syria's Idlib province have injured around a dozen people, according to activists on Monday, with a school reportedly hit in the bombardment.

"Twelve people were injured, mostly children and women, after two unknown long range missiles targeted the north east neighborhoods in Jisr al-Shighour City in western Idlib this afternoon," the White Helmets reported on Monday.

"[Our] teams are working to rescue the wounded and secure the target places."

Russian cruise missiles were reportedly launched from ships docked in the Mediterranean off Syria's coast, according to Syrian activists and journalists.

Among the areas hit was a school, with the damage resulting in teaching being suspended.

"Russian alliance forces fired long-range missiles near Mamoun Haj Yahya School in al Shamali al-Sharqi neighborhood in Jisr al-Shoghour city in Idlib governorate western suburbs, injuring several civilians, severely destroying the school's building and damaging its furniture," reported the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

"The school went out of service, on 8 April 2019."

Intense air strikes and shelling of rebel-held Idlib province have killed dozens of civilians over the past week.

The increase in attacks by regime and Russian forces have led to fears that a new offensive on Idlib province could be looming.

"I think that both Russian and Bashar al-Assad's regime since February has been escalating the intensity of their attacks, which begun by light mortar attacks ending now with usages of the cluster, ballistic missiles against north Syria," Zouhir al-Shimale, a Syrian journalist told The New Arab.

"The series of the attacks aim in one way or another to test the international community response, which was negative and irresponsible and encourage Assad and Russia to carry on more attacks and it will."

Turkish military vehicles were seen fleeing areas in Idlib province where the Russian air strikes were taking part, according to a video shared on social media.

Turkey is taking part in patrols of a demilitarised zone, in a bid to end shelling of Idlib province, which has forced tens of thousands of Syrians from their homes.
  
"I believe this is just the beginning, unfortunately as no one of international countries - are doing anything to protect civilians, not even Turkey, which will result in ground attacks in Syria."

An offensive on Idlib province was averted last year, following an agreement by Turkey and Russia to establish a "de-militarised zone" between rebels and regime forces.

More than half-a-million people are believed to have died in Syria's war, which began in 2011 when regime forces brutally suppressed peaceful pro-democracy protests.

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