21 dead in raids on Syria market

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BEIRUT: Air strikes on a market in Syria’s Al-Qaeda-held city of Idlib killed at least 21 civilians Sunday, as hundreds fled a besieged Islamic State group bastion near the Turkish border.

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Five children were among those killed in the air raids on Idlib, which is held by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and its allies, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Peace talks towards ending Syria’s five-year war have stalled, with no immediate end in sight to a conflict that has killed 280,000 people.

It was not clear who carried out the Idlib strikes, but the Observatory has reported previous air raids by the regime and its Russian ally on Idlib province, which is also controlled by Al-Nusra and rebel allies.

Footage the Observatory said was filmed after the Idlib strikes showed emergency workers training water hoses on a tall building amid a haze of smoke.

In Maaret al-Numan, an area south of the provincial capital, unidentified warplanes also killed at least six civilians including a woman and her four children, the Observatory said.

Russia launched air strikes in support of the Damascus regime in September, allowing forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad to advance against the rebels and IS.

The Britain-based Observatory relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information.

It says it determines what aircraft carried out raids based on their location, flight patterns and the types of planes and munitions involved.

AFP

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