Syrian government intensifies bombardment of rebel-held area


Syrian opposition activists say a government bombardment of rebel-held areas in the country’s northwest has killed and wounded dozens and forced thousands to flee their homes.

The recent escalation of violence is the most serious in Idlib province and nearby areas since Russia and Turkey negotiated a cease-fire in September. The shaky truce had averted a major government offensive on the last rebel stronghold in Syria.

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On Saturday, government forces were sending new reinforcements toward Idlib including tanks, armored personnel carriers and hundreds of troops.

The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense said 22 civilians have been killed and more than 60 wounded in airstrikes and shelling since Friday morning.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported more than 75 strikes against rebel-held areas on Saturday alone.