Russian planes 'strike Turkish-controlled city in northern Syria'
Warplanes bombed the Turkish-controlled city of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Wednesday evening, killing one civilian and injuring ten others.
The two airstrikes hit residential buildings around The Iman Mosque and the Jahjah roundabout in the centre of Al-Bab. One apartment building was reportedly destroyed as a result
One of the injured civilians was a child, who is now in critical condition. The opposition Syrian National Coalition called the strikes a “dangerous development”.
The warplanes which carried out the strikes are believed to be Russian.
The strikes came one day after a roadside bomb targeted a joint Russian-Turkish patrol near Ariha in Idlib province, injuring three Russian soldiers.
Al-Bab is in the north of Syria’s Aleppo province, 30 kilometres away from the Turkish border. It was under the control of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group until February 2017, when Turkish forces and the Turkish-backed “Syrian National Army” rebel group drove IS out and took control of the city in an operation known as “Euphrates Shield”.
The city was bombed by Russian aircraft for the first time since Operation Euphrates Shield on 2 February this year, when Russia and the Assad regime were engaged in a bloody campaign against rebel-held Idlib province, which killed hundreds of civilians and displaced nearly a million more.
Turkey intervened in Idlib against Syrian regime forces as a result of this campaign, and Russia and Turkey agreed to a ceasefire in Idlib on March 10.
In a statement on Thursday the Syrian National Coalition called the latest airstrikes on Al-Bab “a dangerous development and escalation which threatens the agreements and understandings that have preserved a relative calm in the area.”
The March ceasefire has been violated frequently by regime and Russian forces in Idlib province. On Wednesday regime provinces bombed and shelled the city of Ariha, killing two civilians including a child