Syria: At least 9 killed after attack on displacement camps

Syrian forces backed by Russian warplanes launched 30 rockets towards rebel-held areas in Idlib, also wounding dozens.

Syrians walk along in a refugee camp for displaced people run by the Turkish Red Crescent in Sarmada district, north of Idlib city, Syria, Nov. 26, 2021
Syrians walk at a camp for displaced people run by the Turkish Red Crescent in Sarmada district, north of Idlib city, Syria [File: Francisco Seco/AP Photo]

At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded after Syrian government forces targeted tent settlements of displaced families in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.

Opposition activists and first responders reported that government forces fired about 30 rockets, including towards the Maram camp on Sunday, killing nine and wounding 25.

Russian warplanes launched four raids on western Idlib, said the UK-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has been documenting violence in Syria since the uprising started in 2011.

In response, rebel fighters targeted government positions with artillery and missiles in the area of Saraqeb, east of Idlib, and the al-Ghab plain, it added.

The attacks are the latest violation of a March 2020 truce between Russia and Turkey that ended a Russian-backed government offensive on Idlib province – the last considerable rebel-held stronghold in Syria.

The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated over the past two years. In July, seven civilians, including four children from one family, were killed in a Russian air attack in Idlib.

According to the White Helmets, the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defence Forces, six people were killed during the shelling of at least six camps, including two children and a woman, and 75 others were wounded.

Pro-government Sham FM radio station reported the attacks targeted positions of the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, the most powerful militia in Idlib.

The war in Syria started in 2011 after the government responded violently to the country’s protest movement. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million has been displaced.

Russia and Iran support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has been backing opposition forces. Moscow’s intervention on the side of the government in 2015 turned the tide of the conflict.

Source: News Agencies