Children among the dead as Syrian regime shells Idlib
At least four people were killed in shelling by regime forces on Syria's Idlib province on Monday, local sources have said, bring the civilian death toll from government bombardments this year to over 80.
The Syrian regime attacked the town of Khan al-Sabil with artillery shells, killing one man and injuring two others, the White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, said on Monday.
Earlier, three civilians - including two children - were killed when rockets struck Hbait, a village several kilometres west of Khan Sheikhoun, which was the site of a deadly 2017 chemical attack which killed at least 80 people.
A de-escalation zone has been established for the heavily-populated opposition province of Idlib, although repeated regime ceasefire violations have led to the deaths of at least of scores of civilians in the past two months.
The White Helmets said bombing has intensified in recent weeks.
Idlib has been covered by a ceasefire zone agreed between Russia and Turkey last year, which has seen airstrikes and shelling on the province - packed with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees living in camps - greatly reduced.
The takeover of Idlib by extremist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has seen Russia and the Syrian regime issue new threats against the province, with the hardline militant group not considered to be part of the truce agreement by Moscow.
HTS captured all of Idlib province from rebel groups in January, announcing that the affiliated Salvation Government would administer the areas, sparking fears from civilians that regime and Russian bombardments would resume.