Syria airstrikes resume after bad weather grounds Russian bombers

Syria airstrikes resume after bad weather grounds Russian bombers
Rain has prevented aircraft from launching further airstrikes in Idlib province.
3 min read
20 January, 2020
Idlib province has been subject to horrendous regime bombardment [Getty]
Airstrikes on opposition areas of northwestern Syria resumed late Sunday, following a brief lull in the bombing of Idlib after bad weather grounded Russian aircraft.

The lack of air cover on Sunday morning led to Syrian opposition forces launching a surprise counter-offensive in eastern Idlib province, with jihadi group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) capturing the village of Abu Dafnah on Sunday.

Russian and Syrian regime jets were grounded from Saturday due to the bad weather leading to the counter-attack by HTS fighters on the east Idlib village, following a massive barrage of rocket fire.

Russia war planes were quickly activated to bolster regime forces.

"Russian jets carried out raids on the frontlines after the last stoppage of airstrikes since yesterday afternoon," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR] reported on Sunday.

Idlib province had seen a massive decrease in bombing over the past few days, which activists say was due to bad weather grounding Syrian regime and Russian aircraft.

Russia had announced a ceasefire from Sunday covering Idlib, but the bombing of the opposition-held opposition region and parts of Aleppo province continued killing dozens of people.

"Twenty-nine people lost their lives with Russia's decision to break the cease-fire and support the regime forces with its military operations against #Idlib and #Aleppo in northern #Syria. Did Russia and regime achieve their military goals by killing and displacing Syrians," the White Helmets reported on Sunday evening.

The civil rescue team also confirmed that Russian bombing and regime shelling resumed on Sunday, although there were no reports of civilian casualties in Idlib.

"Despite the rainy weather yesterday, Russian and regime forces continued to bomb northern #Syria cities, where 7 areas were targeted with 4 airstrikes and more than 80 artillery shelling without recording any casualties," the White Helmets said in a tweet.

The SOHR also said that Russian bombing of opposition-held areas of Aleppo province killed two civilians, including a child.

"[The SOHR] documented the death of a woman and a child as a result of an airstrike carried out by Russian jets, targeted Kafr Joum in western rural Aleppo on Monday morning," the observatory reported.

Alternative monitor, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, reported that three children were killed in suspected Russian strikes on an Aleppo village on Monday.

"The sibling girls Noura and Yusra Mehyou al Masri and the girl Fatimah Qaddour al Masri, aged 6, 10 and 6 respectively, were killed as fixed- wing warplanes we believe were Russian fired missiles on Kafr Taal village in the western suburbs of Aleppo governorate," it reported.

Idlib is meant to be covered by a demilitarised zone, agreed between Russia and Turkey in September 2018.

The ceasefire has not lasted, with Russia and the Syrian regime launching almost daily airstrikes on the opposition province, killing thousands of civilians.

A huge bombardment of Maarat Al-Numan in December emptied the city of its population.

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