Russian airstrikes kill 7 civilians in northwestern Syria

Russian airstrikes kill 7 civilians in northwestern Syria amid escalating violence
2 min read
10 November, 2019
Airstrikes by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday killed seven civilians in an anti-government bastion in northwestern Syria, a war monitor reported.

The US has condemned escalating violence in Idlib [Getty]

Three children were among at least 7 civilians killed after an airstrike by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday struck an anti-government bastion in northwestern Syria, a war monitor reported.

Eight others were wounded in the raids and some of them are in a "critical" condition, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

The airstrikes - the third wave by Russian aircraft in eight days on northwestern Syria - struck the village of Kafr Ruma in the jihadist-run enclave of Idlib, the Observatory said.

The Idlib region, which is home to some three million people including many displaced by Syria's eight-year civil war, is controlled by the country's former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

On Friday, Russian and regime bombing killed five civilians and injured 14 others in the province. Russia and the Syrian regime have recently intensified their airstrikes on Idlib following two months of relative calm.

Last week Syrian President Bashar al-Assad threatened a new war to capture Idlib province in a television interview.

On Wednesday, Russian airstrikes destroyed a maternity hospital in the town of Shannan and killed three children from one family.

A US State Department spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, condemned the Russian and regime escalation.

"These attacks over the last 48 hours have hit a school, a maternity hospital, and homes, killing 12 and injuring nearly 40. The latest reported incidents reflect a well-documented pattern of attacks against civilians and infrastructure by Russian and Syrian forces," she said.

Sources from the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, told The New Arab that Russian and Assad regime warplanes had carried out more than 80 strikes in the past 24 hours, hitting over 15 towns and villages, including Sarmin, Maarat al-Numan and Kafranbel.

Opposition military sources said that regime ground forces also tried to advance on rebel-held northern Latakia province but were repelled by rebels.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces launched a blistering military campaign against Idlib in April, killing around 1,000 civilians and displacing more than 400,000 people from their homes.

A ceasefire announced by Russia has largely held since late August, although the Observatory says dozens of civilians have been killed in sporadic bombardment since then.

Last month Assad said Idlib was standing in the way of an end to the civil war that has ravaged his country through most of the current decade.

Syria's war has killed 370,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since beginning in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.

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