Syrian regime attacks kill entire family in Idlib

Syrian regime attacks kill entire family in Idlib
2 min read
03 July, 2021
Artillery and missile fire from the Syrian regime has hit a number of targets across northwestern Syria, killing a number of civilians.
Syrian regime artillery was guided by Russian reconnaissance planes [Getty]

Six children were among eight civilians killed by regime artillery fire on Saturday in Syria's last major rebel stronghold of Idlib in the country's northwest, a war monitor said.

The shelling on Saturday morning also wounded 16 others in the Jabal Al-Zawiya area in the south of the stronghold, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights said.

It killed five members of the same family — a man, his wife and their three children — in the village of Iblin, two children in Balyun village, and another child in Balshun village, it said.

Local sources told The New Arab’s sister publication, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the Syrian regime forces were positioned adjacent to Jabal Al-Zawiya, and their artillery and missile fire was directed by Russian reconnaissance planes. 

In Iblin, an AFP photographer saw the bodies of the family arrive at a health dispensary, wrapped in woollen and cotton blankets.

Nurses and others prepared the bodies for burial, cleaning the bloodied corpse of a young boy before swaddling it in white fabric, he said.

The Idlib health directorate reported that the dead man in Iblin worked for its local branch, and likewise reported the death of his wife and three of their children.

Elsewhere in the province, sources reported that a child was killed, and four other, a man, women, and two children were injured, when regime forces targeted civilian homes in the town of Mashoun with artillery fire. 

Russian warplanes were also witnessed conducted attacks that targeted the road between Sheikh Yusef and Malas, northwest of Idlib city. The exact purpose of these attack is not clear, but the area does play host to a civil defence centre in Sahl Al-Rouj. 

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Saturday's death toll is one of the highest since an international ceasefire came into force in March 2020 to protect the jihadist-dominated bastion from a regime offensive.

But violations of the truce, brokered by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey, are relatively frequent, as government forces maintain pressure on the rebel enclave.

In past weeks, Russian warplanes have pounded the southern Idlib region in tandem with artillery shelling by regime forces, according to the monitor.

The war in Syria has killed nearly 500,000 people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations.

Agencies contributed to this report