Syria strikes leave at least 21 dead in Idlib

Syria strikes leave at least 21 dead in Idlib

PanARMENIAN.Net - At least 21 people were killed in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province as government forces and their Russian allies intensified an air offensive on the country's northwest, Al Jazeera reports.

A new ceasefire agreement between Russia and Turkey, which support opposing sides in Syria's nearly nine-year conflict, went into effect on Sunday, but violence has continued, according to rescue workers operating in opposition-held areas.

The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, said air raids and barrel bombs on Wednesday struck a vegetable market in the town of Ariha, as well as repair workshops in an industrial area, a few hundred metres away from the market.

At least 19 people were killed in the attacks on the market and the nearby shops, including a Civil Defence volunteer, Ahmed Sheikho, a spokesman for the group, told Al Jazeera.

A man was also killed in the village of Has as a result of a Syrian government air raid, Sheikho said, while a young girl succumbed to wounds sustained in a previous attack, which took place before the latest ceasefire was implemented.

At least 82 people were wounded in the attacks on Wednesday and the death toll is likely to increase, according to the White Helmets.

The attacks come days after a brief lull. The ceasefire brokered by Moscow, which supports the Syrian government, and Turkey, which backs the rebels, faltered on Tuesday night when air raids hit a string of towns in the southern part of Idlib province.

Since December 1, about 350,000 people, mostly women and children, have been displaced by the renewed offensive, the United Nations said on Thursday.

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