Air Strikes In Syria Leave At Least 18 Dead

BEIRUT (AP) – Air strikes launched on Saturday in areas of the last rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria killed at least 18 people, including women and children, and injured others while a three-month truce collapsed, activists said. the opposition.

The attacks in the province of Idlib have intensified in recent weeks while the government appears to be preparing to launch an offensive against areas under rebel control of the province, in order to secure the main road linking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, which was the largest shopping center in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people died in Idlib province, while the opposition Syrian Civil Defense reported that there were 18 deaths.

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Where there were more victims was in the town of Balyoun, where the Civil Defense said eight people died. The observatory reported that nine died. Both groups also reported that four people, including a child and two women, lost their lives in attacks in the town of Bara.

They added that five others died in Ibdeita. The Civil Defense said another child died in the nearby town of Idlib, while the observatory reported that there had been two.

The disparity between numbers of victims is common when an attack has just occurred in Syria, where an eight-year conflict has killed some 400,000 people, injured more than one million and displaced half of the population that had the Country before the war.

Syrian soldiers carried out a four-month offensive on Idlib, which is controlled by militants linked to al Qaeda. The government offensive forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

A fragile ceasefire halted the government's progress in late August, but has been violated several times in recent weeks.

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