Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

12 Civilians Killed in Syria after Russian Airstrikes

Tue 21 Jan 2020 | 03:22 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

At least 12 civilians, including five children, were killed Monday by regime ally Russia in airstrikes on northwestern Syria despite a Moscow-declared truce.

The attacks struck many villages in the western countryside of Aleppo province that were controlled by jihadists and insurgents, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory said.

In the village of Kfar Taal, three girls were killed while four civilians, including two other children, died in separate strikes that struck other villages in the area, the British monitor said.

Idlib and parts of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia provinces are dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

In recent weeks, the northwest region has been subjected to mounting bombardments that displaced tens of thousands of people.

A cease-fire negotiated this month by Syrian regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey was supposed to protect the region against further attacks.

But last week, the Damascus government pressed a deadly offensive, coming within seven kilometers of a main city in southern Idlib that it is trying to retake from jihadists.

According to the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its reports, Russian and regime warplanes also continued to pummel the area killing scores of civilians.

Russia declined to begin any combat operations in the area on Thursday since the start of a ceasefire which it said took effect on January 9, a date denied by Turkey that says the truce began on Sunday.

The Syrian government, which now controls over 70% of the region, has vowed to take back Idlib, home to some 3 million citizens.

Since 2011, with the brutal repression of anti-government protests, Syria's war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced more than half of the country's population.