Russian air strikes kill 10 civilians in Syria’s Idlib as army advances


Ariha (Syria): Russian air strikes near a bakery and a medical clinic in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib region killed 10 civilians Thursday as government forces kept up a ground offensive.

The government and its allies have upped their deadly bombardment of the last major rebel bastion, slowly chipping away at it from the south.

Rebel-held territory has shrunk to just over half of Idlib province, along with slivers of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia, following a series of government gains, the latest of which saw Damascus loyalists retaking Wednesday the strategic town of Maaret al-Numan.

Russian air strikes hit Thursday the town of Ariha, between Maaret al-Numan and the city of Idlib to its north, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. A dust-covered doctor ran out of the Al-Shami clinic screaming following the attack, which partially damaged the facility’s walls.

Nearby, three entire buildings had collapsed and several vehicles were reduced to mangled wrecks.

The wailing of women and children rang out as rescue workers searched for corpses beneath the rubble.

Toufic Saado, a paramedic, said he was inside the medical facility when three air strikes ravaged the area. “The wounded were lying on the floor outside the medical centre,” he said.

The latest deaths bring to 21 the number of civilians killed by Russian air strikes in Idlib since Wednesday.




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