Syria airstrikes pound Idlib as regime attempts to advance

Syria airstrikes pound Idlib as rebels repel regime ground offensive
2 min read
17 December, 2019
Two children and one woman were killed in Russian airstrikes on Binnish in Idlib province as opposition sources said that the regime was planning a wide-ranging offensive.
Russian and regime airstrikes hit civilian areas in Idlib province [Getty]

Two children and one woman were killed on Monday in Russian airstrikes on the Syrian town of Binnish in eastern Idlib province, several websites reported.

Four other people - all women and children - were injured in the strikes, which targeted a refugee camp on the southern outskirts of Binnish.

Regime helicopters also dropped barrel bombs on several towns in the rebel-held province, including Jarjanaz and Maar Shamarin.

The regime and Russia resumed airstrikes on Idlib province at the beginning of November, following a two-month lull. 277 civilians, including 72 children and 32 women, were killed last month.

Syrian opposition sources say that the regime and its allies are likely to launch a wide-ranging ground offensive in Idlib province, which is the last area of Syria held by anti-Assad rebels, soon.

They say that the regime’s allies Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, have deployed forces at the regime-held Abu Zuhour military airport in southeastern Idlib province. The Syrian website Baladi News also reported that pro-regime militias were massing in eastern Idlib province.

Read also: I lost my unborn child to a hospital airstrike in Syria

On Tuesday morning, opposition military sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that regime forces sustained heavy losses and were forced to retreat after they tried to advance on opposition-held areas in southern Aleppo province.

Recent negotiations in the Kazakh capital Nursultan (formerly known as Astana) over Syria between Turkey, Russia, Iran, the regime, and the opposition failed to reach accord on a ceasefire in Idlib province.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently expressed "concern" over the continued presence of "terrorists" in Idlib province.

Idlib province has been dominated by the hard-line Islamist group Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) since January 2019, however Russia intentionally targets civilian areas and facilities such as schools and hospitals in its bombing campaign.

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