Artillery fire from government-controlled territory and airstrikes killed at least eight civilians in Syria’s last rebel enclave on Saturday, most of them children, rescuers and a war monitor said.
The bombing in Ibleen, a village in the southern province of Idlib, hit the home of Subhi al-Assi, killing him, his wife and three of his children in their sleep, according to the rescue service known as the White Helmets and the leadership. Idlib health center. Al-Assi was the administrator of a local health center.
The shelling also hit the home of a White Helmets volunteer, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, killing his two sons. The volunteer, Omar al-Omar, and his wife were injured, according to the White Helmets.
In a nearby village, the White Helmets reported that another child was killed and four others from the same family were injured.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported on the bombings and the victims. The SOHR said the bombing was followed by airstrikes from suspected Russian fighter jets that targeted areas west of the city of Idlib.
The White Helmets said one of their centers was attacked and destroyed in the airstrike, and five volunteers were slightly injured. A water station in the area was also attacked and taken out of service, the White Helmets said.
In recent weeks there has been an increase in violence between government forces and insurgents on the edge of the last rebel stronghold in the northwestern province of Idlib, despite a truce negotiated last year.
The truce was negotiated between Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition, and Russia, the main sponsor of the Syrian government. At the time, he halted a crushing Russian-backed government air and ground campaign aimed at retaking the region where nearly 4 million people live, most of them displaced.
Residents of the enclave depend on humanitarian aid brought in from across the border with Turkey. The region is dominated by insurgent groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group that was once linked to al-Qaeda.