Syria: Eleven people, mostly civilians, killed by Russian air strike in Idlib province

Syria: Eleven people, mostly civilians, killed by Russian air strike in Idlib province

The air strikes in Idlib province were carried out in a likely retaliation for previous strikes blamed on rebels in northwest Syria.

The opposition has accused Russian air strikes of often targeting rebel-held areas of northwest Syria [Getty]

Eleven people, including seven civilians, were killed by a Russian air strike in the Idlib countryside’s de-escalation zone, in northwest Syria, reports said on Saturday.

They were killed in the village of Basbat, west of Jisr al-Shughur, according to the White Helmets group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Twenty-five people were also injured in the strike, according to the war monitor, with the death toll likely to rise.

The Syrian opposition air traffic observatory reported that a Russian warplane took off from the Hmeimin air base in Latakia, and launched multiple raids on sites in Basbat, as well as the villages of Badama and Bakfala in the Idlib governorate.

Mustafa al-Ahmad, a local activist, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that Russian artillery also targeted the vicinity of Bazabur village in the Jabal Al-Zawiya area south of Idlib, as well as the village of Al-Ziyara in the Al-Ghab Plain area, west of Hama.

The Syrian opposition has said multiple times that Russian warplanes have targeted rebel-held areas in recent months.

Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP that the deadly attack is a likely retaliation to the rebel drone strikes that killed a number of people in government-held areas in recent days.

On Friday a drone attack killed one person in the regime-held town of Qardaha, in Latakia province, which is regime leader Bashar al-Assad's ancestral hometown. 

Another similar attack on Thursday killed a woman and child in Salhab, another government-controlled town close to rebel-held areas of northwest Syria, according to SOHR.

Russia, alongside Iran, has long backed the Assad regime in regaining much of Syria's territory which was lost during the beginning of the years-long conflict, which began in 2011 when the regime brutally cracked down on peaceful protesters.

Moscow has since provided Syria with military and intelligence support, as well as financial backing in order to keep the regime propelled throughout the war.

More than 500,000 Syrians have been killed since the devastating conflict began, with millions more displaced in and outside the country.

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