Russia marks New Year in Syria by bombing Idlib
Russia carried out airstrikes on Idlib early Wednesday morning, just as the opposition province turned midnight and marked New Year, activists have said.
Idlib residents reported heavy airstrikes in the province moments after New Year was marked in the country by suspected Russian aircraft.
"New Year's Midnight. Russian planes circling the sky of Idlib, fear and anticipation of death. I was on a phone call with one of the aid workers there, and at midnight Syria time, exactly, planes threw their death loads. I heard it with my own ears. These were their 'fireworks'!" reported one activist," one activist reported on Twitter.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 22 airstrikes on Idlib on Wednesday, as the world saw in 2020.
It also reported that regime forces fired missiles and shells at villages and towns in southern Idlib, including Kafrnabl.
“Russian warplanes carried out raids this evening targeting Marshmarin town in the southeastern countryside of Idlib… regime forces in Idlib carried out artillery and missile shelling targeting Talmanas, Khan Al-Sobol and Kafrnabl,” the UK-based observatory reported on Wednesday.
"They also shelled Saraqib town with missiles loaded with cluster bombs."
Islamist hardline fighters from Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham also fired shells at regime-held towns in southern Idlib. Clashes between the two sides in Idlib and Aleppo provinces killed six regime soldiers and six rebel fighters.
Idlib has been subject to weeks of intense bombardment by Russia warplanes and regime artillery, killing dozens of people.
An all-out assault on the opposition town of Maarat Al-Numan emptied the town of 120,000, killing scores of people.
Since the regime intensified its bombardment of Idlib province in late August, 1,329 people have been killed including 83 children.
Syria has been embroiled in war since regime soldiers brutally suppressed peaceful protests in 2011, sparking an armed uprising against Bashar Al-Assad.
At least 500,000 have been killed in the war, the majority civilians killed by regime bombing and shelling.