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Air strikes kill 15 civilians in Syria

  • Published at 09:37 pm December 2nd, 2019
Syria
The destruction following a regime air strike in a market in the town of Maaret al-Numan in Syrian province of Idlib on December 2, 2019 AFP

'Air raids by President Bashar al-Assad's regime killed 13 civilians in a market in the Idlib town of Maaret al-Numan'

Air strikes killed 15 civilians on Monday in Syria's last major opposition bastion where deadly clashes between regime forces and armed groups have escalated in recent days, a monitoring group said.

The Idlib region - home to around three million people including many displaced by Syria's eight-year civil war - is largely under the control of a group dominated by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Air raids by President Bashar al-Assad's regime killed 13 civilians in a market in the Idlib town of Maaret al-Numan, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

An AFP correspondent saw rescue workers carry a wounded man away on a stretcher while a body lay motionless amid spilt oranges and bags of onions.

Maher Mohammed, 35, a vendor in the market, said it was the most frightening bombardment he had witnessed in years.

"We ran inside the shops and threw ourselves on the ground," the father of five told AFP.

"They bombarded half the market. Our neighbours were killed," as were two women in a car who had come to do some shopping, he said.

The Observatory said two others died in Russian and regime bombardment in other parts of the province.

Regime forces and armed groups were locked in heavy clashes on the southeastern edge of the region, with almost 100 fighters killed in two days, the Britain-based monitor said.

The battles on the edge of Idlib since Saturday are the most deadly since a Russia-brokered ceasefire went into effect in late August, it said.