Clashes between regime and jihadist-led forces in northwest Syria have left more than 100 fighters dead, as violence raged on the edge of an opposition bastion despite a September truce deal, AFP reported on July 12th, citing a war monitor.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight civilians also died in the latest violence since July 10th. Six of them, including a child, were killed in regime air strikes on the town of Jisr al-Shughur. Reports sent to the UN showed that the recent strikes also hit medical facilities and health care workers.
Syria's civil war has killed more than 370,000 people since it broke out in 2011. Since late April regime aircraft have ramped up the deadly bombardment of the Idlib region of some three million people in northwest Syria, despite a deal to avert a massive government assault. Regime forces have also been fighting militants and allied rebels on the edges of the bastion held by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
At least 57 members of the regime forces and 44 jihadists and allied rebels have been killed in clashes and bombardments since the launch of the attack late on July 10th, the war monitor said, giving a revised death toll. "The fighting is ongoing as regime planes and artillery pound the area," Observatory head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "strongly condemned" the ongoing airstrikes and urged that, "civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities, must be protected.”
"Several health facilities were reportedly hit yesterday, including a hospital in Maarat al-Numan, one of the largest hospitals in the area," the UN statement said, referring to the airstrikes on July 10th.