Airstrikes hit rebel-held Syrian city regardless of new cease-fire

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BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian warplanes bombed a significant insurgent stronghold within the nation’s northwest on Friday, lower than 24 hours after a cease-fire went into impact there, opposition activists stated.

However, activists reported an general drop in violence in Syria’s Idlib province in comparison with the previous three weeks, which noticed authorities forces seize greater than two dozen rebel-held villages below the quilt of airstrikes. The federal government offensive compelled greater than 200,000 individuals to flee for safer areas additional north, close to the border with Turkey.

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Idlib, which is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, can also be residence to three million civilians. The United Nations has warned of the rising threat of a humanitarian disaster alongside the Turkish border.

The newest cease-fire in Syria’s solely remaining insurgent stronghold was introduced Thursday by Russia’s state media. Turkey and Russia negotiated the truce at Turkey’s request. Russia is a predominant backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his forces, whereas Turkey backs some Syrian opposition fighters.

Friday’s airstrikes have been reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which stated Russia warplanes executed intensive raids on the strategic rebel-held city of Maaret al-Numan and surrounding villages. The Britain-based group, which paperwork the conflict in Syria by a community of activists on the bottom, additionally stated authorities forces and insurgents clashed in jap components of Idlib province Friday morning.

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The Sensible information company, an Syrian opposition activist collective, stated Friday’s airstrikes targeting the western and northern neighborhoods of Maaret al-Numan.

The cease-fire was imposed in Idlib province early Thursday afternoon, based on Maj.-Gen. Yuri Borenkov of the Russian Heart for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria.

The truce got here amid hovering regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin additionally made a uncommon go to to Syria this week for talks with Assad in Damascus.

The quick purpose of Assad’s three-week offensive gave the impression to be taking Maaret al-Numan, which sits on the Damascus-Aleppo freeway, with a purpose to re-open the strategic highway. It has been closed by the rebels since 2012.

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