At least 11 killed in Syrian forces airstrike on Idlib

Russia Bombed 2 Syrian Displacement Camps – NYT

Russia Bombed 2 Syrian Displacement Camps – NYT

An airstrike on a market in in the town of Maaret al-Noumaan in Idlib believed to have been carried out by Syrian forces, killing at least 13 civilians on Monday. Syrian government troops recently renewed their push to reclaim the last opposition stronghold in the province while Turkey has broadened its military operations there.

Two days of clashes between government forces and armed groups in Syria's last major opposition bastion have killed nearly 100 on both sides, undermining a months-long ceasefire agreement, a UK-based activist group said on Monday.

"The bombardment of the market that was packed with civilians led to a massacre and wide destruction", the Civil Defense said on its Facebook page, which also had photos of lifeless bodies and paramedics helping the victims.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met an envoy to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss the situation in Idlib and attacks launched by militant groups based there, according to a tweet from Syria's presidency.

It said separately that Russian airstrikes had targeted a prison in Idlib, causing casualties and prisoners to flee.

The late August ceasefire had brought about relative calm, months into a devastating Russia-backed regime offensive that killed around 1,000 civilians and ousted hundreds of thousands from their homes. A fragile cease-fire halted the advance at the end of August, but in recent weeks it has been repeatedly violated.

Meanwhile, the Observatory and the Kurdish news agency Hawar said Turkish shells landed in the town of Tal Rifaat, to the north in Aleppo province, near a school.

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The Turkish defence ministry put the death toll from the attacks on the two marketplaces at 14, according to a statement posted on its official Twitter account.

"I don't want to see my children trapped under rubble", said Hafez, one of those driven from his home and who escaped the flashpoint area along with his wife and three kids two days earlier.

The Kurdish-held town is squeezed between Syrian government areas and territory controlled by Turkey-backed fighters.

Idlib is a largely opposition-held province near the Turkish border.

Syrian troops arrived in positions bordering Turkey as well as other parts of the northeast under a deal with Kurdish forces seeking protection from Ankara and its Syrian proxies.

The officers were exploring new patrol routes in an armored auto when an improvised explosive device exploded, the ministry said.

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