Syrian regime and Russian air strikes on Saturday killed 19 civilians, eight of them children, in the country’s last major opposition bastion, a war monitor said.
The observatory said Russian jets struck settlements in villages in Idlib, Syria in the southern Marratinnuman district, while regime forces mounted air and ground attacks on the town of Kafranbil and other local villages.
According to Syrian opposition Civil Defense (White Helmets), Russian jets killed four civilians in the village of Al-Bara and eight in the marketplace in the village of Belyun.
Regime airstrikes also left one civilian dead in the village of Bicgas, five others dead in the village of Bdeite, and one dead in the marketplace in the village of Tel Mennis.
Further, crude barrel bombs dropped by government helicopters killed five civilians including three children in the village of Abadeeta, also in the same area.
Many civilians were also reported wounded in the airstrikes, and children were among those killed. The wounded civilians were taken to nearby health facilities with the White Helmets’ help.
Notably, in the village of Bara, Russian jets struck a school, mosque, and bakery.
With bombardments ongoing, it is feared the death toll will rise.
The Damascus regime has repeatedly vowed to take back control of Idlib.
In the past week alone, regime and Russian aggression has caused up to 25,000 Syrians to flee to regions near the Turkish border.
Since Moscow and Ankara reached a deal in September 2018, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the Idlib de-escalation zone and displacing more than 400,000 people from their homes. Also, since that time, over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.