Regime bombardment kills 23 civilians in northwest Syria: monitor

Beirut, Dec 17 (AFP/APP): Syrian regime air strikes and artillery fire on Tuesday killed 23 civilians in the last major opposition bastion in the northwest of the country, a war monitor said.

The militant-held region of Idlib is supposed to be protected by a months-old ceasefire deal to prevent a broad regime offensive, but deadly bombardment has continued.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said around 30 were wounded overall, including some in a serious condition.

It said regime artillery fire killed seven civilians from the same family in the village of Talmanas, adding that the wife and three children of a member of the White Helmets rescue organisation were killed in the village of Badama.

On its Twitter account, the White Helmets — a volunteer group that responds to bombings in rebel-held areas — posted a video of a volunteer apparently pulling the lifeless bodies of his family from the rubble of a building.

In the village of Maasaran, regime air strikes killed a further six civilians.

An AFP photographer on site saw a pool of red blood and clothes strewn on the pavement by a shop whose window had been shattered.

“That’s the regime for you,” a resident said, as he helped a shopkeeper pick up some items of clothing.

Pro-government bombardment also led to four other civilians losing their lives in other parts of the bastion, the Observatory said.

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