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Syria: Airstrikes kill several civilians in Idlib
February 3, 2020 | 10:55 AM
by DW
At least 14 civilians have been killed in Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes targeting the northwest Idlib province
 
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At least 14 civilians have been killed in Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes targeting the northwest Idlib province, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Eight people were killed in the town of Sarmin — seven of which from the same family. The father watched as two of his children were pulled from the rubble.

"I wanted to get my family out this morning but my wife told me to go to work," he told Agence France-Presse on Sunday. "So I sent them a driver with a car to transport their things." However, shortly after a regime aircraft hit the house with a barrel bomb attack.

"It's a terrible disaster," he said.



Four Turkish soldiers were also killed and nine were wounded in the attack, the Turkish defense ministry confirmed.

Turkish forces retaliated by destroying targets in the Idlib region, the ministry said in a statement. Syrian forces were aware of the position of Turkish forces at the time of the initial attack, they said.



Idlib offensive

A Russian-backed regime offensive aimed at seizing one of the last bastions of resistance to Damascus has killed hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 388,000 people in Idlib.

Over the past two years, thousands of hard-line rebels have been transferred from battlefronts in other parts of Syria to Idlib as part of government-backed ceasefire deals. Those transfers have consequently made Idlib the final bastion of opposition to President Bashar Assad, as well as a hotbed of extremist groups.

German officials have called on Russia and Syria to end the offensive, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas saying the "humanitarian situation in Idlib is already catastrophic and is getting worse due to the fighting."

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