Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Monitor: Fierce Syria bombardment kills 53 civilians

A child is recovered from the rubble of a building in the northern Syrian town of Orum al Kubra which was the target of fierce bombardment A child is recovered from the rubble of a building in the northern Syrian town of Orum al Kubra which was the target of fierce bombardment
Kenny Thornton | 13 August, 2018, 23:57

A child is recovered from the rubble of a building in the northern Syrian town of Orum al-Kubra which was the target of fierce bombardment.

A civil defence source told AFP that rescue workers had pulled out "five people who were still alive".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation, placed the death toll at 39.

Abdel Rahman said Friday's bombardment was the most intense since Idlib was declared a "de-escalation zone" a year ago.

SOHR said the weapons depot was housed in a residential building in the northwestern town of Sarmada, in Idlib province.

Most of the civilians killed were family members of HTS fighters displaced to the area from the central province of Homs, he said.

White Helmet rescue workers attempted to lift part of the floor of one of the buildings with a crane.

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Idlib is expected to be the center of a major battle in the months to come, as it is effectively the last major rebel-held territory in Syria, and the Assad government has said that, failing any negotiated deal, they will reunify the country by force.

Most of Idlib is controlled by rebels and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, but the Islamic State group also has sleeper cells in the area and have targeted opposition forces.

Most of the rest is held by rebels, while the regime also holds a slither of the province's southeast.

In recent months, the Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, has made major advances in its offensive against a number of rebel and jihadist groups across Syria.

On Thursday, government helicopters dropped leaflets over towns in Idlib's eastern countryside urging people to surrender.

The United Nations appealed the same day for talks to avert "a civilian bloodbath" in the province.

At least 53 civilians including 28 children, have been killed in fierce bombardment Friday that targeted rebel-held areas of northern Syria, a war monitor said updating an earlier toll.

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