Russian strikes kill seven people, including four children, in northwestern Syria
At least seven people - including four children - were killed on Friday when Russian warplanes struck the village of Jadidah and the outskirts of the town of Janoudiyah in the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, close to the Turkish border.
Eyewitnesses said that two airstrikes hit the area in quick succession, in what is known as a double tap strike.
Binaa Bahri, a volunteer for the Syrian Civil Defence – also known as the White Helmets – told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that 12 more people, including eight children, were injured in the strike.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the four children killed were from one family. Activists confirmed the deaths.
Local sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that three Russian warplanes took off from the Hmeimim airbase on Friday morning and launched four airstrikes on the area. Among those were two double-tap strikes, which caused the massacre.
"The Russian planes targeted a poultry farm where internally displaced people were sheltering and civilian homes on the outskirts of Jadida village in western Idlib province," Bahri told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
7 civilians including 4 children killed and 12 others including 8 children injured today after Russian warplanes targeted civilian homes and poultry farm inhabited by displaced people in Idlib countryside. Our teams treated the injured and retrieved the dead from under the rubble pic.twitter.com/k8gZir8dOw— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) July 22, 2022
The strike follows months of relative calm in rebel-held Idlib province, which was previously regularly targeted on a daily basis by the Assad regime and its ally Russia.
On Thursday, Russia said that it had shot down two drones over its airbase at Hmeimim in Latakia province in northwestern Syria. The base is Russia's most important strategic asset in Syria and was previously frequently targeted by drone strikes blamed on Syrian rebels.
Following the deadly Russian strikes on Idlib province on Friday, an Islamist rebel group called Ansar al-Islam announced that it had targeted regime positions in the Al-Ghab area adjoining Idlib province with mortar shells.
Over 500,000 people have been killed and millions more injured or displaced in the Syrian conflict, which broke out in 2011 following the Assad regime's brutal suppression of peaceful pro-democracy protests.
Russia’s intervention in the conflict in September 2015 has helped the Assad regime stay in power and recover most of the territory it once lost to rebel groups and jihadists.