Shelling in Idlib kills six children and eight other civilians

Russian-backed Assad government forces targeted Idlib province with artillery fire and airstrikes.

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Rescue groups and war monitors observed on Saturday the killing of at least eight civilians by artillery fire from regime-controlled territory and airstrikes.

The shelling hit the home of a volunteer for the White Helmets. While the volunteer, Omar al-Omar, and his wife were wounded, the two children died.

In Ibleeni, a village in the southern Idlib province, the administrator of a local health center was killed in his sleep along with his wife and three children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the shelling was followed by airstrikes by suspected Russian warplanes that hit areas west of Idlib city. The attacks wounded 16 people in several locations of the Jabal al-Zawiya area in the south of the last rebel stronghold.

White Helmets, a volunteer search and rescue group also known as Syria’s Civil Defence, also said one of its centers was targeted and destroyed in the air raid. Five volunteers of the group were slightly wounded. A water station in the area was hit and left out of function.

Both SOHR and the White Helmets confirmed the attacks and blamed the Assad government. Search and rescue efforts are reported to be ongoing.

The death toll has been one of the highest since a ceasefire negotiated between Turkey and Russia last year to protect the area from a government offensive. Violations of the ceasefire are frequent.

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