Eight civilians including pregnant woman killed by Syrian regime army in rebel-held northwest

Eight civilians including pregnant woman killed by Syrian regime army in rebel-held northwest
Eight civilians including a pregnant woman have been killed in a Syrian regime strike on Darat Izza in Aleppo province.
2 min read
18 December, 2023
Syrian regime forces bombed Darat Izza, killing eight people [Getty]

A pregnant woman was among eight civilians killed on Sunday during a strike by Syrian regime forces in the last major rebel stronghold in the northwest, a war monitor said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said six other people were injured in the attacks.

"Regime forces committed a massacre by directly targeting residential areas, using artillery shells and rocket launchers in Darat Izza, Aleppo province," said the monitor, which relies on a network of sources in the country.

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"At least six civilians, including a pregnant woman, were killed in Darat Izza, and two other civilians in the locality of Abzimou" in the same province, it added in a new toll.

Earlier, five regime soldiers were killed by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, formerly the local branch of Al-Qaeda, in the north of Latakia province, according to the Observatory.

It said the HTS attack was a response to the wounding of 14 civilians earlier on Sunday in Syrian regime bombardments of residential areas of Idlib city.

HTS controls swathes of Idlib province and parts of the neighbouring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.

The hardline Islamist group regularly clashes with Syrian regime forces and their Russian allies.

HTS is the strongest rebel organisation active in northwest Syria, but there are other groups, some backed by Turkey, and there have been fierce clashes in recent weeks.

In late November, Syrian regime strikes killed nine civilians, including six children, while they were harvesting olives in Idlib province, the Observatory said at the time.

Syria's civil war began in 2011 after the brutal repression of protests by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and more than half a million people have been killed, with millions more displaced. 

The Idlib region is subject to a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey after a regime offensive in March 2020, but the regime and Russia repeatedly violate it.