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Fresh strikes on Syria jihadist enclave kill 13

AFP


The latest strikes in an unprecedented wave of regime bombardment on a jihadist enclave in northwestern Syria killed at least 13 civilians on Wednesday, a war monitor said.

Air strikes, some using deadly barrel bombs, and shelling by both government and Russian warplanes have claimed a mounting civilian death toll over the past few weeks.

The violence, which has rattled a fragile truce deal brokered by Moscow and Ankara in September, is causing mass displacement and bringing Syria to the brink of the worst humanitarian catastrophe yet in its eight-year-old conflict.

The United States and the United Nations demanded an end to airstrikes on Tuesday, as bombardment by Damascus killed 27 people  the single highest civilian death toll in the region since the regime increased attacks in late April.

But on Wednesday, aerial bombardment did not relent.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organisation, seven of Wednesday’s victims were killed in an air raid on the village of Sarja.

It lies in Idlib province, most of which is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group dominated by former members of Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate.

The four other victims were a father and his three children in the village of Bara, said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

Two others were killed in strikes on the Idlib town of Hbeit, he said.

“The bombardment by the regime and Russia continues to be intense on several areas. The Russian strikes are focused on Khan Sheikhun but have not caused any casualties for now,” he said.

Syrian state news agency SANA reported one woman was killed by jihadist shelling on northern Hama.