UPDATES WITH US STATE DEPT. REACTION
By Halit Suleyman and Ayse Sarioglu
IDLIB, Syria (AA) – At least 23 people were killed and dozens injured when three Russian warplanes carried out a total of 17 airstrikes on the opposition-held city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, a local civil defense official said.
Abdurrazak Jubeiro told Anadolu Agency that the airstrikes had targeted several parts of the city, including the Al-Wataniand Ibn Sina Hospital and a local mosque, late Monday.
Casualties included women and children, Jubeiro said, adding that civil defense teams had rushed to the area in the wake of the strikes to collect the dead and tend to the injured.
Two different hospitals were hit in the attack, including the Ibn Sina Hospital, which was severely damaged, according to the official.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, for its part, strongly condemned the Russian airstrikes in Idlib, accusing Moscow of violating the guiding principles of a cessation-of-hostilities agreement that went into effect in late February.
"We expect the international community to fulfill its responsibilities without further delay against these unconscionable crimes committed by the Russian Federation," a ministry statement read.
In a related development Tuesday, three civilians were killed and more than a dozen injured in Russian airstrikes carried out in the opposition-held village of Kafr al-Hamra in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province, local civil defense officials told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to fears for their safety.
Meanwhile, the American administration said the U.S. would cooperate with Russian to determine the details about the hospital attack.
"We are still looking into what happened in Idlib," State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing.
"We are going to continue to work closely inside the cessation of hostilities task force, with the Russians to try to figure out what happened here."
Russia first began military operations in Syria last September following a formal request by the Assad regime for military assistance against armed opposition groups.
In March of this year, Russia carried out a limited withdrawal of its forces from the war-torn country.
According to a tally compiled by Anadolu Agency, more than 360,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict erupted in 2011.
*Anadolu Agency correspondents Sibel Ugurlu and Mahmoud Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.