THU 9 - 7 - 2020
 
Date: Jul 24, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Regime strikes kill seven civilians in northwest Syria
Regime, Russian raids kill 50 civilians in Idlib
Agence France Presse
BEIRUT: Regime bombardment on northwestern Syria killed at least seven civilians including children on Tuesday, an observatory said, a day after dozens were killed in raids targeting the opposition bastion.

The Syrian regime and its Russian ally have stepped up their deadly bombardment of the Idlib region and adjacent areas in Aleppo and Hama provinces since late April.

Three children were among seven civilians killed in Tuesday's air strikes and artillery fire in Aleppo and Idlib provinces, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It came a day after regime and Russian air strikes killed 50 people in northwestern Syria.

Thirty-eight of them perished in raids on a vegetable market and surrounding areas in the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province.

The militant-run Idlib region is home to some three million people and is supposed to be protected by a months-old international truce deal.

The spike in violence since late April has killed more than 700 civilians, including more than 170 children, according to the Observatory.

More than 330,000 people have fled violence in the area over the past three months, according to the United Nations.

Mark Cutts, U.N. deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, described a worsening "nightmare" unfolding in Idlib.

"Today saw one of the deadliest attacks on civilian areas that we have seen since the upsurge in fighting began almost three months ago," he said Monday in a statement.

Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

Regime, Russian raids kill 50 civilians in Idlib

Agence France Presse
MAARET AL-NUMAN, Syria: Regime and Russian airstrikes killed 50 people in northwest Syria Monday, most of them in a crowded market, a monitoring group said, in the latest violence to plague the opposition bastion.

In Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, men covered in blood were carried away from the market by residents and rescue workers, who used mattresses as makeshift stretchers, an AFP photographer said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said airstrikes on the vegetable market and surrounding areas in Maaret al-Numan killed 36 civilians and two unidentified persons. The Observatory said Russian aircraft carried out the air raids, but Moscow denied it was responsible.

More than 100 other people were wounded, according to the group, which said many of those injured were in a critical condition and people remained trapped under the rubble.

The head of the local hospital, Radwan Shardub, described his horror at seeing “burnt and carbonized bodies and body parts.”

The White Helmets rescue group said one of its volunteers was killed during the raids, raising the number of rescue workers killed since April to at least six.

The militant-run Idlib region is supposed to be protected by a months-old international truce deal brokered by Russia and Turkey, but the deal was never fully implemented as militants refused to withdraw from a planned buffer zone.

The spike in violence has killed more than 690 civilians, and damaged or knocked out of service two dozen health facilities in militant-held territory.

More than 330,000 people have fled violence in the area over the past three months, according to the United Nations.

In total, militant and rebel fire into regime-held areas has killed close to 60 non-combatants in that same period, the Observatory said.

Another 12 civilians were killed in regime airstrikes in other parts of the bastion Monday, the group added.

Meanwhile, retaliatory rocket fire by militants and allied rebels killed 14 civilians in Hama and Aleppo provinces, state-run SANA news agency said.

The Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham group, led by ex-members of Al-Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate, in January extended its control over the region, which spans most of Idlib province as well as slivers of the adjacent provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo.

The Idlib region “has fast become one of most dangerous places in the world for civilians and aid workers today,” said David Swanson of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“This violence must stop and it must stop now,” he told AFP.

In Damascus, President Bashar Assad Monday received two Vatican cardinals who handed him a letter from Pope Francis expressing “deep concern for the humanitarian situation in Syria, especially the dramatic conditions of the civilian population in Idlib.”
 


 
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