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Syria: Woman and her six children killed in regime raids, says NGO


Syria: Woman and her six children killed in regime raids, says NGO

Dayr Sharqi (Syria) (AFP)

A woman and six of her children were killed Saturday in regime raids in northwestern Syria, an NGO said in the aftermath of shelling in Damascus and its Russian ally on a displaced people's camp there.

A photographer collaborating with AFP has seen men carry the bodies of two children, looking haggard, after the raids on the village of Dayr Sharqi in southern Idleb province, according to the Syrian Observatory of Rights of Man (OSDH).

A corpse of a child covered with dust was pulled out of the rubble and rescuers were trying to extract another body.

The toll could increase, given the number of injuries, according to the NGO.

Since the end of April, hundreds of people have been killed in the Idleb region, dominated by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS, former Syrian branch of Al Qaeda) and shelled by Damascus and Moscow.

On Friday, 15 civilians, including six children, were killed in air raids in Damascus and Moscow, including on a displacement camp in southern Idleb, according to the OSDH.

Mentioning the raids against the IDP camp, the French Foreign Ministry condemned in a statement the "indiscriminate air strikes by the regime and its allies in Idleb" and called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities".

For several days, the pro-regime forces have progressed on the ground and hope to retake the city of Khan Cheikhoun, located on the highway that runs through Idleb, connecting Damascus to Aleppo (north), both under government control.

HTS controls since January the majority of the province of Idleb and sectors of the neighboring provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, where rebel groups are present.

The Idleb region has been agreed on a "demilitarized zone" concluded in September 2018 by rebel sponsor Ankara and Moscow. But this one was only partially applied, the jihadists having refused to withdraw.

Since April, the raids of the regime and Russia have killed more than 850 civilians, according to the OSDH. More than 400,000 people have been displaced, according to the UN, which fears a humanitarian "catastrophe".

According to AFP correspondents, dozens of families have fled in recent days to the north, in trucks loaded with personal belongings.

Triggered in 2011 after the deadly crackdown by the pro-democracy protests, the war in Syria has left more than 370,000 dead and millions displaced.

© 2019 AFP

Source: france24

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