Syrian government shelling in Idlib kills seven members of same family | Syria News

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The military has stepped up its bombing campaign against the rebels’ northwest since President al-Assad was sworn in for a new term last week.

Syrian government artillery shells struck a village in the last rebel enclave in the country on Thursday, killing seven members of the same family, including four children, rescue workers and a war observer.

The shelling is part of an ongoing military escalation in the area of ​​northwestern Syria, where a ceasefire had been sponsored by Russia and Turkey since last year.

It is so far unclear what triggered the escalation, which had already killed at least 17 children prior to the attack this month, according to figures confirmed by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.

Rescuers in opposition areas known as the White Helmets said the shells landed in the village of Ibleen in southern Idlib province.

A mother and her four children were among the dead recovered from the rubble of a destroyed house. Seven other people were injured, the group said.

Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the dead included the children’s grandfather and uncle. He said the father was injured in the attack.

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

The military stepped up its bombing of the northwestern enclave when President Bashar al-Assad took the oath of office for another term in which he pledges to make “the parts of the homeland yet to be liberated” one of his top priorities.

On the day Assad took the oath, attacks on the Idlib villages of Sarja and Ehsin killed 14 civilians, including seven children.

Two days earlier, shelling on Idlib and the city of Fuaa further north killed nine civilians, including three children, the Observatory said.

The attack on Thursday came on the last day of the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday.

The Syrian government, which agreed to the negotiated ceasefire between Russia and Turkey last year, has pledged to restore control over territory it lost during the 10-year conflict.

The March 2020 ceasefire, covering the area home to nearly 4 million people, mostly displaced persons, was negotiated between Turkey, which supports Syria’s opposition and has troops in the area, and Russia, the main pillar of the Syrian government.

At the time, it halted a crushing Russian-backed government air and ground campaign to retake the region.

Elsewhere in the country, Kurdish-led forces control much of the east after ousting the ISIL (ISIS) group from the region.

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