DOHA (Al Jazeera): A bakery established by one of Turkey’s largest humanitarian organisations, IHH, was targeted by suspected Russian air strikes in Syria’s Idlib province, according to the organization.
Syrian opposition activists blamed Russia for the attacks, which left at least 44 people dead on Sunday.
IHH said via Twitter on Monday that the bakery, which was established 16 months ago, provided daily bread for nearly 45,000 internally displaced Syrians.
Mustafa Ozbek, from IHH’s media office in Istanbul, told Al Jazeera that the bakery—in the town of Saraqeb—was destroyed in the attack.
“They completely destroyed our bakery as well as the flour mill in the building,” he said.
“This bakery was very important because it provided bread for internally displaced Syrians.
“Locals said the air strikes were launched by Russian jets and that the Russians had been targeting those areas in the past few days.
“They said at least 20 mis-siles were dropped by four Russian warplanes.
Ozbek said Sunday’s attack “was the first time any of our facilities was targeted.”
However, citing activists, he said that trucks loaded with humanitarian aid and food-storage facilities have been targeted.
None of the employees was killed in the attack, IHH said.
Sunday’s air strikes also targeted a crowded marketplace and several other areas in Idlib province, according to local activists.
Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency quoted Bulent Yildirim, IHH’s president, as saying: “If bakeries, camps are attacked, that means the aim is to eliminate all Syrian people.”
IHH officials told Turkey’s Daily Sabah that the Russian warplanes first targeted positions near the bakery as a warning, but as the people in the bakery left, the jets struck again and demolished the building.
The Russian government has yet to respond to IHH’s accusations.
Tensions grew between the two countries after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it says violated its air space and was warned repeatedly.
Elsewhere in Syria on Sunday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least five people were killed, including one child, in suspected Russian air strikes.