UPDATES DEATH TOLL, CHANGES HEADLINE
By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria (AA) - The number of civilians killed by Russian airstrikes in Syria’s northwestern city of Idlib has risen to 35 with another 75 injured, according to local civil-defense sources.
Mustafa Haj Yousuf, head of the White Helmets civil-defense agency in Idlib, told Anadolu Agency that the strikes had targeted the village of Zardana.
According to Haj Yousuf, five members of the White Helmets were among those injured by the strikes, which, he alleged, had targeted residential areas.
“The airstrikes were carried out by SU-24 Russian fighter jets dispatched from the Latakia airbase,” Syrian opposition groups said in a statement.
Injured civilians were reportedly taken to nearby hospitals while local civil-defense units carried out search-and-rescue operations.
Idlib, which remains under opposition control, was designated a "de-escalation zone" -- in which acts of aggression are expressly forbidden -- in May of last year.
Nevertheless, the Assad regime and Russian forces have continued to carry out attacks on the region.