At least nine dead as Russian jets hit Syrian tent settlements

Planes aided by Syrian army dropped bombs on forests near the makeshift camps west of Idlib, witnesses said

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Russian jets bombed camps near Syria's north-western city of Idlib on Sunday, killing at least nine civilians in a flare-up of attacks on the last opposition-held bastion, witnesses and rescuers said.

War planes flying at a high altitude, aided by Syrian army artillery, also dropped bombs on forests near the makeshift camps west of Idlib, witnesses said.

No immediate comment was available from Russia or its allies in the Syrian army, which denies attacking civilians and says its targets are the hideouts of insurgent groups.

The opposition civil defence service said three children and a woman were among those killed in the strikes on the crowded camps where more than 70 people were wounded and taken to field hospitals.

“There are no military bases or warehouses or rebel barracks here. Only civilians,” said Seraj Ibrahim, a rescuer with the western-backed White Helmets.

More than four million people live in the densely populated opposition-held north-west along the Turkish border. Most of them were driven there by successive Russian-led campaigns that regained territory seized by rebels.

Syrian opposition fighters fire artillery at pro-government forces from a position in Idlib province on Sunday. AFP

Russian jets last month hit areas under the control of the Hayat Tahrir Al Sham group after a bout of fighting among rival rebel forces in the north-west in renewed strikes that shattered a relative lull in raids since earlier this year.

The region has been hit by sporadic shelling from Syrian army outposts. Rebels have shelled areas under their control.

A deal brokered about three years ago between Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's forces, and Turkey, which supports opposition groups, ended fighting that had displaced more than a million people within a few months.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 6:40 AM