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Dozens killed in bloody day of airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib province

The airstrikes hit residential areas of Idlib province [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 December, 2019

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A total of 26 people were killed and more than 11,000 displaced in a bloody day of airstrikes in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province.

The death toll from regime and Russian airstrikes on rebel-held northwestern Syria increased to 26 at the end of Tuesday, as thousands of people fled. At least thirty people were also injured.

Sources from the Syrian Civil Defence told The New Arab that eight women and six children were among the victims.

Six people were killed in the town of Bdama, including a mother and her three children. A further six were killed in the town of Maasaran, when civilian homes and the local market were hit by an airstrike.

One person was killed in the city of Maarat Al-Numan and three more in the villages of Maar Shamsha, Babila, and Al-Kanayes.

The Syrian First Responders Team said that 11,714 people had fled their homes between Monday and Turesday, bringing the number of people who had been displaced in Idlib since the beginning of November to 109,408 according to its estimates.

Fierce bombardment of rebel-held Idlib province by the Assad regime and Russia resumed in November after a two-month lull. Russia and the regime intentionally target civilian facilities such as markets and hospitals in their bombing campaign.

Syrian opposition sources say that the regime and its allies are likely to launch a wide-ranging ground offensive in Idlib province, which is the last area of Syria held by anti-Assad rebels, soon.

Read more: I lost my unborn child to a hospital airstrike in Syria

The Syrian First Responders Team called on international organisations to intervene quickly to provide displaced people with the necessities of life. Approximately 3 million people live in Idlib province, about half of them displaced from other parts of Syria.

People displaced from recent rounds of bombardment have been forced to take shelter in olive groves and fields because there is no room for them in overcrowded displacement camps.

As winter sets in, there are fears that many displaced people will die of cold because they cannot afford to buy fuel to keep warm.

The Syrian conflict began in 2011 when the Assad regime brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests. More than 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since then, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.




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