Syria and Russia launch & # 039; violent & # 039; air strikes against the rebel stronghold Idlib

Members of the Kurdish Internal Security Police Force of Asayish on alert in northeastern Syria.

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have launched a series of air strikes in and around Idlib, the last key opposition stronghold in Syria, says a war monitor.

The attacks came a day after Russia, Iran and Turkey held a summit in Tehran to discuss the fate of Idlib, a rebel-held city where thousands of rebels and their families have been evacuated from different parts of Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected an appeal at the summit for a ceasefire in Idlib, carried out by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who say the province is inhabited by "terrorists".

Less than 24 hours later, the planes carried out about 90 air strikes, marking the most intense bombing the Northwest province has seen in a month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

The attacks were concentrated in opposition-controlled areas in Idlib and the northern field of Hama province, the British-based monitor said on Saturday.

A photo shown by the Ibaa News Agency, affiliated with Al Qaeda, shows the smoke that rises over the buildings that were attacked by airstrikes, in the village al-Sahan, in Idlib.

Ibaa news agency

At least four civilians, including two children, were killed, according to the watchdog.

A pro-government field commander told the German news agency DPA that Russian warplanes bombed areas of rural Hama on Saturday, the stronghold of a militant Islamist group that mounted a deadly attack on a nearby Christian village controlled by the government on Friday. .

"The government forces began operations in the provinces of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo three days ago, and their current plan is limited to aerial bombings without a push from ground troops," said the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The Russian and Syrian jets attacked the rural area of ​​Hama and the southern part of Idlib with more than 100 air strikes, in addition to dozens of projectiles fired by government forces," he added without giving casualty figures.

During Friday's summit, Erdogan said his country would not stand aside and would see the loss of civilian lives in Idlib. Turkey supports the Syrian rebels, while Russia and Iran are key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Tehran meeting concluded without agreement, which generated fears of an imminent offensive in Idlib.

"If the world turns a blind eye to the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people to promote the interests of the regime, we will not see from the sidelines nor participate in that game," Erdogan said in a series of tweets late on Friday. hours after the end of the summit

Erdogan said that "resorting to methods that ignore civilian life would only harm terrorists" and warned against "any fait accompli under the pretext of fighting terrorism."