BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government on Wednesday shelled the last rebel last enclave in the country’s northwest, killing at least seven people, including three children, rescuers and activists reported.
The attack came during a day of heavy rain, and targeted the city of Idlib city and two towns, to the north and south. A child was killed when a shell landed near a weekly market in the city of Idlib, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer rescue team also known as the White Helmets, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.
In Ariha, a town to the south, shells killed four people, and in Kefraya to the north, two children were killed, the Observatory said.
The shelling comes as an eight-month truce negotiated between Turkey and Russia is unravelling. Government and allied forces resumed operations in recent weeks, including carrying out an airstrike in late October on rebels in the area that killed dozens of Turkey-backed fighters at their training camp. The attack sparked retaliation, restoring a cycle of violence that had previously displaced hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing the fighting and government advances.
The northwestern rebel-held enclave is home to more than 3 million people and remains the last area in opposition hands. The international community, including the U.S., are calling for a nationwide cease-fire and resumption of peace talks, saying no military operations would bring about peace to war-torn Syria. The nine-year war has displaced millions, and killed nearly half a million people, leaving Syria torn in rival areas controlled by different groups, backed by regional or international powers.
Turkey, which backs the Syrian opposition, has reached a cease-fire agreement with Russia, an ally of the government in Damascus. But the two countries are increasingly locked in rivalry over their military involvement in the region.