Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes have killed more than 150 civilians and injured dozens more in over a week of heavy bombings in the opposition-held Idlib province, rescue workers say.
A recent offensive by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) rebel fighters in Hama has led to Russia and the Syrian regime launch "revenge" airstrikes on Idlib, which is mostly controlled by the al-Qaeda linked force.
"We have pulled 152 bodies and we have rescued 279 civilians since the Russian and regime bombing campaign," Salem Abu al Azem, a senior rescue worker from the opposition-run Civil Defence in Idlib, said, according to Reuters.
Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble of flattened buildings, he added.
Civil defense officials and aid workers say at least six hospitals, five defense centers, and several power stations were destroyed in the first few days of the airstrikes.
Camps for internally displaced civilians were also hit.
Russia's defense ministry says it is targeting hard-line Islamist militants and denies accusations that it has struck civilian infrastructure and medical centers to force rebels into local truces.
Thousands of civilians have fled from towns such as Jisr al Shqour and Jabal al Zawya to rural areas less exposed to daily bombing, aid workers say.
The Russian and Syrian bombing campaign comes shortly after Syrian regime allies Russia and Iran agreed with opposition backer Turkey to jointly police a "de-escalation" zone in Syria's Idlib province.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkish troops will deploy inside Syria's northern Idlib region as part of the agreement, while Russia would maintain security outside the province.
The Idlib zone is the fourth such area to be agreed among Turkey, Russia, and Iran, and was widely expected to be the most complex zone to establish.
Much of it is held by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an alliance of fighters dominated by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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