Parts of rebel-held Idlib province were hit by air strikes on Friday. But it turns out they were not part of the looming military assault being planned by Syria’s government.
However, they did prove deadly, as CGTN’s Alaa Ebrahim reports.
Opposition sources tell CGTN that Syrian and Russian fighter jets have carried out dozens of air strikes on Idlib province in northern Syria – the country’s last rebel stronghold.
A British-based monitoring group reported the strikes, including nine deaths, near the city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the province’s western sector.
A senior Syrian military source told CGTN the strikes aren’t part of the much-anticipated offensive that the Syrian army has been preparing for weeks now. The source insisted these airstrikes were surgical and precise.
Meanwhile, Syrian army units pounded rebel positions in southern Idlib using a combination of artillery and air strikes, but without progress on the ground.
Damascus has repeatedly said that it is working to regain control of the entire country, though the upcoming battle in Idlib poses serious concerns about the safety of the civilian population.
UN Security Council seeks diplomatic solution to head off humanitarian crisis in Idlib
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Russia, Turkey and Iran fail to agree on ceasefire for Syria’s Idlib Province
The air strikes came as the presidents of Iran, Turkey and Russia held a summit in Tehran to discuss the Syrian conflict. CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports on what came out of that meeting.
Edmund Ghareeb discusses the Syrian and Russian air strikes on Idlib province
For more on the joint Syrian-Russian air strikes on Idlib province, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Middle East specialist Edmund Ghareeb.