Russian airstrikes reportedly kill 11 civilians in Idlib

Published November 9th, 2015 - 08:57 GMT

Apparent Russian airstrikes killed at least 11 civilians Sunday in two towns in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and 23 more Saturday in a rebel-held town outside Damascus, an activist group said. Nine people, including a child, were killed in strikes on areas in the town of Maaret al-Numan, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, while another two women were killed in Saraqeb in the same province.

It said both sets of raids were believed to have been carried out by Russian planes participating in an aerial campaign Moscow launched in Syria on Sept. 30.

Idlib province fell from government control earlier this year and is held largely by the Army of Conquest rebel alliance that includes Al-Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front.

The alliance has been targeted by Russian aircraft and Syrian ground troops just across the provincial border in neighboring Hama province.

Syrian government troops have launched several ground offensives against rebel forces since Russia began its bombing campaign.

Suspected Russian strikes on the rebel district of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus hit the center of the town where markets are regularly held, the Observatory said.

Rebels in Douma, which lies in the opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, regularly fire rockets into the capital and the area is frequently the target of government airstrikes and shelling.

The Observatory said at least six children and seven women were among the dead and that the toll could rise further because of the number of people seriously wounded.

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