Five Syrians from one family killed in regime, Russian strikes on Idlib province
At least five Syrians from the same family were killed on Thursday when Russian and Assad regime planes bombed the Brouma farms near Maaret Misreen in rebel-held northern Idlib province, the Syrian Civil Defence and local sources reported.
The Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, said that several air raids hit the area, killing a couple, their two children aged one and two and their nephew, who was aged eight. The family were internally displaced people who had sought refuge in Idlib province from the regime.
The family were working on a poultry farm in the area, Fared al-Mahlool, an independent journalist told The New Arab.
“They were agricultural labourers,” their co-worker Omar Ali Basha told Al-Jazeera. “The family was displaced from Aleppo countryside and have been working with us for eight months”.
Six other people were injured in the regime and Russian strikes on the area, al-Mahlool said.
“It took about an hour to remove the dead from under the rubble, rush the wounded to the hospital, and evacuate the area. We faced difficulties because of Russian reconnaissance planes encircling the area,” Mohammed Sheikh Ahmed, a civil defence worker, told Al-Jazeera.
Saada is an old woman. Today, she lost her son, her son's wife, & her grandchildren. She stands on ruins as the last refuge of her family not knowing where to bury them.Saada, forgive us. The world has turned its back on Syria for the last ten years, leaning their wounds to bleed pic.twitter.com/Ijd1UjwtNB— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) November 11, 2021
Moussa al-Zaidan, a spokesperson for the Syrian Civil Defence said that Russia and the Assad regime had been bombing residential areas in Idlib province on a near-daily basis since June, killing scores of civilians.
This is despite a ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russia itself in March 2020.
“Since the beginning of June we have responded to more than 700 attacks by Russia, the regime and their [allied] militias. We have dug up the bodies of at least 155 people, including more than 60 children and 23 women,” Al-Zaidan told The New Arab.
“We have also lost two workers from the Civil Defence as a result of direct strikes which deliberately targeted teams during search and rescue operations,” he added.
“This is a catastrophe for civilians, especially now that we are at the beginning of a new winter and there are 1.5 million civilians living in displacement camps in northwestern Syria.”
Late on Thursday Syrian rebels from the Fatah al-Mubeen Operations Room, which includes a number of opposition faction, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that they had bombed regime positions surrounding rebel-held Idlib province in response.
They said that they had killed three fighters from the regime and its allied militias, two of them from the 25th Special Operations Brigade, which is supported by Russia.
“Even if this response is not enough for deterrence, it is necessary in these circumstances,” Mustafa Bakkour, a spokesperson for the Jaysh al-Izza rebel group told The New Arab’s Arabic service.
“Most of the time Russian and regime bombardment targets civilians near the frontlines but in recent months it has hit areas [previously] considered safe and far away from the front,” he added.
Hassan Mohammed, a media activist, told The New Arab’s Arabic service that as of Friday morning, rebels and regime forces were still exchanging fire in the Jabal al-Zawiyah area of southern Idlib province.
Over three million people live in Idlib province and surrounding parts of northwestern Syria, which together form the last area of the country held by Syrian rebels. More than half of them have been displaced from other parts of Syria.
The Syrian conflict began in 2011 after the Assad regime brutally suppressed peaceful protests. More than 500,000 people have been killed as a result and millions more displaced, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.