• Sunday, Aug 14, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Monitor: 12 dead in exchange of fire in northwest Syria

  • Published at 02:43 pm May 15th, 2019
In this file photo taken on February 09, 2019 French Defence Minister Florence Parly (C) talks to French soldiers engaged in "Operation Chammal", the French military operation within "Operation Inherent Resolve", the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group, as they stand in front of wheeled 155 mm gun-howitzer CAESAR system (truck equipped with an artillery system) on February 9, 2019, near Al-Qaim, a few kilometres away from the last scrap of territory held by IS in eastern Syria AFP

Six civilians were killed by "rocket attacks by jihadist groups" in a southern neighbourhood of Aleppo

Twelve civilians were killed on Tuesday during exchanges of fire in northwestern Syria, including six slain when jihadist rockets hit the city of Aleppo, a war monitor said.

Syria's second city Aleppo is under the control of President Bashar al-Assad's regime but it is located only a short distance from jihadist-held Idlib province.

The regime and its ally Russia have intensified attacks on Idlib and neighbouring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces despite a months-old buffer zone deal intended to shield it from any government offensive.

On Tuesday, six civilians were killed by "rocket attacks by jihadist groups" in a southern neighbourhood of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

State television confirmed six civilians had been killed in "terrorist" strikes, using the regime's terminology to refer to both jihadists and rebel fighters.

Since the regime recaptured it at the end of 2016, Aleppo has been sporadically targeted by jihadists or rebels, who still control territory west of the city.

On Tuesday, six civilians were also killed in regime aerial bombardments targeting insurgent areas of Idlib or northern neighbouring Hama province, the Observatory said.

Four of them were killed in the town of Jisr al-Shughur, said the Britain-based monitor.

The escalation has been the bloodiest since Russia and rebel-backer Turkey announced in September 2018 an agreement for a "demilitarized zone" in Idlib.

Under the agreement, the area's three million inhabitants are supposed to be protected by a buffer zone.

But between late April and May 9, bombardments in southern Idlib and northern Hama forced some 180,000 people to flee.

These displaced people have found refuge in areas further north, according to the United Nations.

In just over two weeks, 18 medical facilities have been forced to close in the area, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Monday.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011.