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Syria: Russian airstrikes kill 8 civilians in Idlib

25th Dec 2019
Syria: Russian airstrikes kill 8 civilians in Idlib

By Esref Musa

 

IDLIB, Syria (AA):  At least eight civilians, including five children, were killed in Russian airstrikes Tuesday in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, where acts of violence are prohibited, a local civil defense agency said.

Syrian opposition aircraft monitors said Russian warplanes struck the city of Saraqib and towns of Maar Shoreen, Babeela and Jawbas.

The attacks on Jawbas left eight people, including five children, dead, sources with the controversial White Helmets civil defense agency said.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an alliance of terrorist groups, is the strongest militant groups in northern Syria and largely controls Idlib province, including the provincial capital and the border crossing with Turkey at Bab al-Hawa.

The UN, US and Turkey consider HTS group associated with al-Qa’ida and list it as a terrorist organisation.

Other main rebel groups in Idlib are: National Liberation Front (Turkish-backed rebel alliance); Hurras al-Din (pro-al-Qa’ida HTS offshoot) and Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP, Chinese Uighur-dominated group)

Over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the Idlib de-escalation zone despite a deal reached by Ankara and Moscow in September 2018.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

Additional information from BBC

[Photo: Syrian citizens who were affected by attacks carried out by Russian warplanes over Saraqib district are seen, collecting their usable belongings, in the de-escalation zone of Idlib, Syria on December 24, 2019.  Photographer:  Muhabiri Hüseyin Fazıl/AA]

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