Middle East

Moscow denies reports of attacking civilians in Syria’s Idlib

Russia says it did not conduct airstrikes on a bakery and a medical clinic in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, branding foreign media reports as a “provocation.”
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that Russian airstrikes killed 10 civilians after they hit near a bakery and a medical clinic in the town of Ariha in Idlib early Thursday.
“The Russian aviation did not carry out any combat tasks in this area of Syria,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The Britain-based observatory’s claims come as Syrian army troops are advancing against foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Idlib.
Syrian government forces establish full control over a strategic city in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.
The Syrian army declared the start of an offensive against the militants in Idlib last August.
It came after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.
Under the Sochi agreement, all militants in the demilitarized zone that surrounds Idlib, and also parts of the provinces of Aleppo and west-central province of Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17, 2018, with the Takfiri groups having to withdraw two days earlier.
Russia has been helping Syrian forces in the ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country. The Russian military’s assistance began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government.

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