‘Regime strikes’ kill 20 civilians including 13 children in Syria’s Idlib
Syrian regime warplanes killed 20 civilians including 13 children in northwestern air strikes, a war monitor said on Saturday revising its previous death toll of 14, in the latest deadly raids on the embattled opposition bastion.
Warplanes and helicopters late Friday carried out air strikes on Mhambel village in Idlib province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A woman was also killed early Saturday in regime rocket fire on the outskirts of the town of Khan Sheikhun in the south of the province, SOHR said.
Our Correspondent Obaida Hitto visits Idlib’s Mhambel town, the site of deadly Syrian regime attacks.
Last rebel bastion
Idlib, a region of some three million people, many of whom fled former rebel-held areas retaken by the regime, is the last major bastion of opposition to the Russia-backed Syrian regime after eight years of civil war.
The region on Turkey’s doorstep is administered by Syria’s former al Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al Sham, but other rebel groups are also present.
#SOHR About 20 civilians including 13 children and one woman, were killed by warplanes of the regime, the #Russian guarantor’s warplanes, and the ground shelling in less than 20 hours within the “de-escalation” area https://t.co/VjTt6wau5S
— #المرصدالسوري #SOHR (@syriahr) July 6, 2019
Idlib is supposed to be protected from a major regime assault by a September deal between Moscow and Ankara, but Damascus and its Russian ally have been violating the deal and ramping up their deadly bombardment of the region since late April.
More than 520 civilians have been killed since then, according to the Observatory.
Health facilities targeted
The United Nations says 25 health facilities in the region have been hit, the latest including the second attack in two months on an underground hospital in the town of Kafranbel on Thursday.
“The attacks happened despite the fact that the coordinates of this hospital had previously been shared with the parties to the conflict in a deliberate, carefully planned effort to prevent any attacks on it,” a UN official said on Friday.
“I am horrified by the ongoing attacks on civilian areas and civilian infrastructure as the conflict in northwest Syria continues,” said Mark Cutts, UN deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syrian crisis.
Syria’s war has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-regime and pro-democracy protests.