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AFP
January 12, 2020

Regime air strikes kill 18 civilians in Syria´s Idlib: monitor

World

AFP
January 12, 2020

IDLIB, Syria: Regime air strikes on Syria´s last major opposition bastion killed 18 civilians on Saturday, a war monitor said, a day before a ceasefire is due to take hold.

Six children were among the dead in the north west province of Idlib, where a fresh ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey is expected to go into effect after midnight, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Air strikes on the city of Idlib killed seven civilians, while separate raids on two towns near the provincial capital killed 11 others, the Britain-based war monitor said. In Idlib city, the bombardment hit near a cultural centre, according to the Observatory and an AFP correspondent in the area.

Scores of students, many of them crying, ran from the site of the blast in panic, the AFP correspondent said. The bombardment surprised residents in a city that has been relatively free from the near-daily attacks that have hit the province´s flash-point south, the correspondent added.

One woman pressed two children to her chest as she screamed for help, he said.

Volunteer rescue workers, meanwhile, carried bodies to an ambulance, and sifted through rubble searching for trapped civilians, he added. South of Idlib city, raids hit the area of Al-Nerab, killing four.

"All of these areas where far away from bombardment during the latest (regime) offensive but today, regime warplanes," have returned, said Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman. A southern strip of the militant-dominated Idlib region has come

under mounting bombardment in recent weeks, displacing more than 300,000 people in December alone, according to the United Nations.

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