Syrian artillery destroys family in rebel area

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 23 Jul 2021

Artillery shells fired by Syrian government forces shells struck a village in the last rebel area in the country yesterday, killing seven members of a family, including four children.

The shelling came in a continuing military escalation in the area in northwestern Syria, which had been under a ceasefire sponsored by Russia and Turkey since last year.

So far it is unclear what caused the escalation, which before yesterday had killed at least 17 children this month.

Rescue workers in opposition areas said the shells landed in the village of Ibleen in Idlib province.

A mother and her four children were among the dead pulled out from under the rubble of a destroyed house.

Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the children's grandfather was also among the killed, while the father was injured.

According to the Observatory, 21 people, including 11 children and six women, have been killed in government strikes on the rebel area since Saturday.

Yesterday's attack came on the last day of the Eid Al-Adha holiday, one of Islam's most important festivals.

Syria's government, which agreed to the Russia-Turkey negotiated truce last year, has vowed to restore control over territory it has lost during a conflict now in its 10th year.

The truce, covering an area with nearly four million mostly displaced people, was negotiated between Turkey, which supports the opposition and has troops deployed in the area, and Russia, the Syrian government's main backer.

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