Syrian regime, Russian airstrikes kill 12 civilians in Idlib

'A massacre a day': Syrian regime, Russian airstrikes kill 12 civilians in Idlib
3 min read
26 July, 2019
More than 730 civilians in Idlib have been killed by airstrikes and ground-to-ground fire by the Damascus government and its ally Russia since late April.
Since late April the Syrian regime and Russia have stepped up airstrikes on Idlib. [Getty]

Airstrikes by the regime and its Russian ally killed 12 civilians including three children in northwest Syria on Thursday, a monitor said.

Since late April, the Syrian regime and Russia have stepped up deadly raids on the Idlib region of three million people.

The bombardment on the province has killed hundreds, pounded health centres and schools, and caused more than 330,000 people to flee their homes.

Aid groups have decried a "nightmare" that has slain an alarming amount of children, in the latest bloody episode of Syria's eight-year civil war.

Save the Children said the number of children killed in Idlib over the past four weeks had exceeded the number slain in the same region in the whole of last year.

"The current situation in Idlib is a nightmare," the charity's Sonia Khush said.

"It's clear that once again children have been killed and injured in indiscriminate attacks," she added in a statement.

On Thursday, Russian airstrikes killed seven civilians - including one child - in the bastion, most in and around the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In the village of Kafar Roma near Maaret Al-Numan, and AFP photographer saw rescue workers try to pull a young man out from under collapsed concrete.

And regime air raids killed five civilians - including two children - in neighbouring Aleppo province, the Britain-based monitor said.

'Genocide'

The region under aerial attack is made up of a large part of the Idlib province, as well as slivers of the adjacent governorates of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia.

More than 730 civilians have been killed there in airstrikes and ground-to-ground fire by the Damascus government and its allies since late April.

The bombardment has increased in intensity in recent weeks, with the toll of almost 50 civilians on Monday alone - the majority in airstrikes on a busy market.

Syria's political opposition Thursday condemned "on average at least a massacre a day" in the embattled stronghold.

"The Syrian people are really being targeted by a genocide," the head of the Syrian National Coalition Anas Abdah said at a press conference in Istanbul.

A September accord struck between Moscow and Ankara was supposed to protect the region, but it was never fully implemented after militants refused to withdraw from a planned buffer zone.

In January, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham - a group led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate - took over administrative control.

Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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