Russian airstrike kills six civilians in northwestern Syria

Russian airstrike kills six civilians in northwestern Syria
Moscow, the regime's key backer, announced a ceasefire in northwestern Idlib province on August 31 following Damascus' military push in the region.
2 min read
02 November, 2019
Russia is Damascus' key backer, and has propped up the brutal regime. [Getty]
An airstrike by Russian forces killed six civilians including one child in the opposition bastion of Idlib in northwestern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The strike hit the village of Jaballa in the south of the region, killing six people from the same family.

The UK-based war monitor relies on sources inside Syria, and says it determines who carries out an airstrike according to flight patterns, aircrafts and ammunition involved.

[Also read: Russia and Turkey begin joint Syria patrols following Kurdish withdrawal]

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said it was the bloodiest such Russian air raid in two months since Moscow announced a truce in the area on August 31. Since then, eight other civilians have been killed by Russian airstrikes.

The Idlib region in the country’s northwest is home to around three million people, and includes many displaced by the devastating eight year war. It is controlled by Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate, the Hayat Tahrir-al Sham (HTS).

Moscow is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has military propped up his regime during the devastating eight-year-long civil war.

Assad’s forces launched a devastating military campaign against Idlib in April, killing around 1,000 civilians and forcing more than 400,000 people to flee their homes.

But the ceasefire announced by the regime's major backer Moscow has largely held since late August, though the Observatory says skirmishes persist. On Friday, 23 regime fighters along with 11 jihadists and allied rebels, were killed in clashes on the western edges of the Idlib region.

Assad said last week that Idlib was the main front remaining to end the civil war, and made his first trip to the region since 2011.

Turkey added a new dimension to the conflict when they began military operations against Kurdish forces in northern Syria last month. Ankara has carved out a ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria after driving out Kurdish militias, that its troops began patrolling alongside Russian soldiers earlier this week.

Syria's war has killed 370,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since beginning in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.

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