Russian jets bomb rebel-held Idlib in Syria, witnesses say

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Aerial view of Kafr Arouk IDP camp after heavy rains in Idlib, Syria on December 20, 2021. Photo taken with a drone on December 20, 2021. REUTERS / Khalil Ashawi / File Photo

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AMMAN, Jan. 2 (Reuters) – Russian jets shelled areas near the Syrian city of Idlib in northwestern Syria on Sunday, witnesses and rebel sources said, marking a new year for the latter. stronghold held by the opposition.

High-flying warplanes, which the tracking centers said were Russian Sukhoi jets, dropped bombs on several towns and a water pumping station serving the overcrowded town of Idlib, which has a population of over a million.

No immediate comment was available from Russia or the Syrian army, which says it targets the hiding places of militant groups that control the region but deny any attacks on civilians.

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A city water official said he was out of action because of the strikes.

Witnesses said strikes over the past twenty-four hours in the rebel-held enclave also affected livestock and poultry farms near the Bab al Hawa border post with Turkey.

“The Russians are focusing on infrastructure and economic assets. This worsens the suffering of the people,” said Abu Hazem Idlibi, an opposition administration official.

Other targets included villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya area in southern Idlib province, with no immediate reports of casualties, residents and rescuers said.

A series of raids after midnight on Saturday hit makeshift camps housing thousands of displaced families near Jisr al Shuqhur, west of Idlib, with two children and a woman killed and 10 civilians injured, said civil defense.

There has been a relative lull in airstrikes since November after a new Russian-led campaign followed by Turkish army reinforcements inside the enclave raised the prospect of a broader recovery of violence.

An agreement negotiated nearly two years ago between Russia, which supports the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey, which supports opposition groups, ended the fighting that had displaced more than a million people in a few months.

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Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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