World

Russian airstrikes kill seven civilians in northwestern Syria's Idlib

AFP-JIJI

Airstrikes by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday killed seven civilians, including three children, in an anti-government bastion in northwestern Syria, a war monitor reported.

Eight others were wounded in the raids and some of them are in a “critical” condition, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

The airstrikes — the third wave by Russian aircraft in eight days on northwestern Syria — struck the village of Kafr Ruma in the jihadist-run enclave of Idlib, the Observatory said.

The Idlib region, which is home to some 3 million people, including many displaced by Syria’s eight-year civil war, is controlled by the country’s former al-Qaida affiliate.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces launched a blistering military campaign against Idlib in April, killing around 1,000 civilians and displacing more than 400,000 people from their homes.

A cease-fire announced by Russia has largely held since late August, although the Observatory says dozens of civilians have been killed in sporadic bombardments since then.

Last month Assad said Idlib was standing in the way of an end to the civil war that has ravaged his country through most of the current decade.

Syria’s war has killed 370,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since beginning in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.

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