Six killed in Syria regime shelling on Idlib — monitor

1. Syria
People mourn in a funeral by bodies of victims of reported bombardment by Syrian government forces in the village of Maaret Al-Naasan in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on February 12, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
MAARAT AL-NAASAN, Syria — Syrian regime shelling killed six civilians including women and children on Saturday in Idlib province, the country's last main Islamist extremist and rebel bastion, a war monitor said.اضافة اعلان

An AFP photographer at the scene reported seeing several bodies being taken away from a wrecked home in Maarat Al-Naasan, an area close to regime-controlled territory.

"The shell fell on a civilian home," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group with a network of sources on the ground in the war-torn country.

The monitor said two women and two children were among those killed, who were all from the same family. Many others were wounded.

The shelling had begun at around 1130 GMT, with more shells fired intermittently afterwards, the AFP photographer said.

The Syrian regime and its ally Russia have regularly targeted hospitals and civilian areas since the start of the war in 2011, according to the Observatory.

The Idlib region bordering Turkey is home to about three million people and it is one of the last pockets to oppose Damascus.

Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a former Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, controls with its allies about half of the region and parts of neighboring provinces. 

After a months-long military campaign to flush out the enclave sparked fears of the war's worst bloodshed yet, a ceasefire deal was reached in March 2020.

The agreement brokered by the regime and the rebels' main backers — Russia and Turkey respectively — has largely held since, despite sporadic flare-ups.

But Damascus has intensified attacks on southern Idlib since June.

The war in Syria has killed around half a million people and displaced millions more, the Observatory says.

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