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Regime attacks kill 25 in Syria's Idlib: Observatory

Local | 2019-06-19 21:18:21
Regime attacks kill 25 in Syria's Idlib: Observatory
Regime attacks killed 16 civilians and nine combatants in Syria's militant-run northwest Wednesday, an activist group said, the latest violence to rattle a region housing three million people.

Eleven civilians were killed in regime airstrikes on a village in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of southeastern Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The bombardment destroyed shops and ripped apart bodies, according to an AFP photographer, who found human remains more than a hundred meters away from the site of the strike.

Rescue workers were seen pulling bodies from under the rubble.

Four other civilians were killed in air raids on nearby towns and villages in southern Idlib, while one civilian died in airstrikes on the edges of Idlib's eponymous provincial capital, the Britain-based Observatory said.

In the north of nearby Hama province, regime rocket fire killed 9 militants, a day after fierce clashes in the area left at least 55 combatants dead, including 14 regime fighters, the Observatory reported.

The latest violence comes after U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called Tuesday on Russia and Turkey to "stabilize the situation" in the Idlib region.

"I am deeply concerned about the escalation of the fighting in Idlib," he told reporters, adding that "civilians are paying a horrific price".

His comments came ahead of a U.N. Security Council session on the situation.

The world is facing "a humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes," Mark Lowcock, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, told the council.

Parts of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib are supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented as militants refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing more than 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Syria's war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.

Agence France Presse
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