Five children among eight killed as Russian bombardment of Syria's Idlib continues

Five children among eight killed as Russian bombardment of Syria's Idlib continues
Eight people were confirmed killed in Russian air raids on civilian homes in northwest Syria, as fears grow a land assault on the region is brewing.
2 min read
23 January, 2020
Smoke billows following regime air strikes on the town of Khan al-Assal, Aleppo province [Getty]
Russian planes struck villages in Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northwest Syria, on Thursday morning, killing at least eight people including five children.

Five civilians from the same family were killed in Saraqeb and three others in the town of Arnaba, war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The bombings targeted civilian homes in the opposition-held provinces, according to The New Arab’s Arabic-language correspondent.

Civil Defence teams, also known as the White Helmets, retrieved the bodies from the rubble, without confirming the number of casualties.

On Wednesday, the Civil Defence tallied 68 Russian and regime airstrikes on civilian homes in Idlib, including 18 barrel bombings by the regime. 

Syria Weekly: 'Idlib will fall,' Assad regime tells Turkey

Most of Idlib and parts of Aleppo province are still controlled by factions opposed to President Bashar al-Assad's Russian-backed regime, including a militant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a splinter of Al-Qaeda.

At least 27 civilians were killed and 40 others injured on Tuesday evening after an especially violent campaign of strikes by Russia and the regime on the opposition enclave.

Barrel bombs - usually oil drums, fuel tanks or gas cylinders filled with explosives and sharp metal fragments - are extremely destructive weapons used primarily by the Syrian regime, and have killed more than 11,000 civilians in Syria since 2012, according to Amnesty International.

Meanwhile the Turkish army sent reinforcements, including armoured personnel carriers and special forces, to the Syrian border.

Despite Turkish efforts to implement "de-escalation" measures in Idlib, heavy bombardments from Russia and the regime have continued despite a ceasefire agreed on 10 January that never really took hold.

The latest spate of attacks are feared to be a prelude to a land offensive in western Aleppo province, which borders to Idlib, as the regime and its allies continue their drive to shrink the last opposition-held pocket.

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According to the UN humanitarian coordination agency OCHA, almost 350,000 people have fled their homes since December 1, mainly northwards from southern Idlib, which has borne the brunt of the air strikes.

The International Rescue Committee has warned another 650,000 people, mostly children and women, could be forced from their homes if the violence continues.

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