Syrian regime shelling in Idlib's Ariha kills at least 11 civilians: witnesses, rescuers

Syrian regime shelling in Idlib's Ariha kills at least 11 civilians: witnesses, rescuers
The Syrian regime shelling in Ariha, in which at least 11 civilians died, according to witnesses, hit residential areas of the city.
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The deadly shelling hit Ariha city in Idlib province [MOHAMMED AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty]

At least 11 civilians died on Wednesday in a Syrian regime shelling of residential areas of rebel-held Ariha city, witnesses and rescue workers said.

The shelling from Syrian regime army outposts, which came shortly after a roadside bomb killed at least 13 military personnel in Damascus, fell on residential areas in the city in Idlib province, where jihadist-led rebels are in control.

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Among the casualties were several school children, witnesses and medical workers in the opposition enclave said, according to Reuters.

The area of Ariha struck by rockets was busy, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The group put the number of children among the dead at at least two, though AFP reported these figures while the death toll was listed as eight.

The shelling, which hit the war-ravaged town at a time when children were heading to school, also wounded at least 26 people, the Britain-based monitoring group said, as of AFP's report.

A reporter with the French news agency who was on the scene saw at least five dead bodies as first responders were treating the wounded and scenes of chaos filled the streets of Ariha.

Wednesday's bombardment was one of the deadliest to rattle an Idlib truce deal that was reached in March 2020 and brokered by Turkey and Russia, the two main foreign brokers in the conflict.

The Idlib region is one of the last pockets to escape government control more than a decade into a war that has left half a million people dead, according to the Observatory.

(AFP, Reuters)