Middle East

Five Civilians Among 8 Killed in Shelling of Syria’s Idlib

Jihadist bastions cover more than half of Idlib as well as adjacent parts of Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia provinces.

Shelling by the Syrian army killed eight people, five of them civilians, Wednesday in the northwestern region of Idlib controlled by jihadist-led rebels, a war monitor reported.

Rockets struck a busy area of the town of Ariha, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that at least two children were among those killed.

The shelling, which hit the war-ravaged town at a time when children were heading to school, also wounded at least 26 people, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

An AFP reporter on the scene saw at least five dead bodies as first responders were treating the wounded and scenes of chaos filled the streets of Ariha.

Wednesday’s bombardment was one of the deadliest to rattle an Idlib truce deal that was reached in March 2020 and brokered by Turkey and Russia, the two main foreign brokers in the conflict.

The Idlib region is the last pocket to escape government control more than a decade into a war that has left half a million people dead, according to the Observatory.

The shelling came soon after a bombing targeting an army bus in Damascus killed at least 13 people in the deadliest such attack in the capital since 2017.

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