US ‘strongly condemns’ Syrian regime’s Idlib airstrikes


The U.S. strongly condemned Russian-supported Syrian regime airstrikes on northwestern Syria’s Idlib province that it said Friday have resulted in a dozen deaths in the past 48 hours.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in addition to those who died 40 people have been injured in the attacks that hit a school, a maternity hospital and a home.

“The Assad regime’s murderous war machine has killed and injured thousands in northwest Syria alone – many of whom are women and children,” Ortagus said in a statement. “The latest reported incidents reflect a well-documented pattern of attacks against civilians and infrastructure by Russian and Syrian forces.”

The White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense agency, said Friday five civilians were killed in Russian airstrikes on residential areas within the Idlib de-escalation zone.

The attacks were on villages within Idlib province’s Kafr Nabl district, which was designated as a part of the de-escalation zone in Turkey’s deal with Russia in late 2018.

They are the latest in a wave of strikes that have taken place in the region.

Since the Russia-Turkey deal was struck last year, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone.

Notably, about 1 million people have been forced to leave conflict-prone areas of the city and have started taking shelter in safer areas in the northern part of the city that borders Turkey.

Ortagus urged the Syrian regime and Moscow to “resolve this conflict through the UN-facilitated political process and to stop waging war in civilian areas.”

“Attacks on innocent Syrians must cease immediately for the humanitarian crisis to end and for the political process to go forward,” she said.

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