Deadly air strikes across Syria as ceasefire dissolves

Fighting intensifies across Syria as air strikes hit a market place in Idlib and shells pound Homs.

    Deadly air strikes across Syria as ceasefire dissolves
    Air strikes hit a popular market in the rebel-controlled town of Ariha in Idlib Province [Reuters]

    Fast Facts

    • At least a dozen people killed in air strikes on a market in Ariha
    • Rights group estimates 20 killed as shells and air strikes hit Rastan city
    • More than 280,000 people killed throughout Syria's five-year civil war


    A series of air strikes on a market place in Syria's Idlib and shelling and bombings in the central Homs province have killed dozens of Syrians, according to a rights group.

    At least 12 people, including three children and a woman, were killed in strikes on Wednesday in the Idlib town of Ariha, the United Kingdom-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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    The group added that "the death toll is expected to rise" because several people were in critical condition. 

    Al Jazeera's Adham Abu Hossam, reporting from Ariha, said the war planes "launched four consecutive air strikes on main areas in the town". 

    "Three of these air strikes targeted main markets inside the town," he said. "Many shopkeepers have been killed, and many families are left without providers." 

    It was not immediately clear if the war planes were the Syrian government's or Russian. 

    An estimated 20 people were killed by government forces' shelling and air strikes on Rastan, a city in the Homs province of central Syria.

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    The Syrian Observatory group also reported clashes in Quneitra, as well as air strikes in the southern Damascus countryside and elsewhere. 

    SANA, the Syrian government's state news agency, said at least one person was killed by rebel shelling and 20 others injured in the government-controlled part of Aleppo on Wednesday. 

    On Monday, the Syrian government unilaterally extended a 72-hour ceasefire. On the ground, however, fighting continued without pause in many parts of the country. 

    Syria's uprising started with mostly unarmed protests against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, but it quickly grew into a full-scale civil war between rebels and government forces. 

    An estimated 280,000 have been killed in the five years of bloodshed, according to the Syrian Observatory. 

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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