Death toll nears 100 in Syria's Idlib - monitor

Russia Bombed 2 Syrian Displacement Camps – NYT

Syrian government airstrikes on the rebel-held area of Idlib killed at least 11 people and wounded dozens on Monday after hitting two outdoor markets, Syrian civil defence forces said. Meanwhile, Russian air strikes killed at least 14 civilians in Maarat al Numan and Saraqib.

Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad and Russia's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev stressed on Monday their support for the need for Damascus to regain control over the entire northeastern region with the border with Turkey.

"A while later, at around 10:30am (08:30 GMT), a second round of attacks struck the market in Maaret al-Numan, resulting in casualties and in material damages as well", he said.

"We ran inside the shops and threw ourselves on the ground", the father of five told the AFP news agency. "Our neighbours were killed", as were two women in a vehicle who had come to do some shopping, he said.

The NYT wrote 1 December that "eyewitness photos and videos, flight logs and cockpit tapes obtained by The Times enabled reporters to trace an airstrike on a Syrian camp for displaced families to a Russian pilot".

The Turkish defence ministry put the death toll from the attacks on the two marketplaces at 14, according to a statement posted on its official Twitter account.

Residents of affected villages fled north to escape the fighting, adding to the hundreds of thousands who have already flooded out of the province's violence-plagued south since fighting escalated earlier this year.

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Assad, during a visit to the area in October, his first since the start of the eight-year war, said that defeating rebels in the province was key to ending the conflict.

The Syrian troops on the offensive have recently captured rebel-held areas in the adjoining Hama province, as well as the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib.

The Idlib front was the main focus of Syrian government forces before Turkey in October launched an invasion into a swathe of northeast Syria along its border.

According to the Observatory, more than 160 civilians and more than 460 fighters, including regime forces, have been killed since the deal went into effect.

A ceasefire announced by Russian Federation in late August has reduced fighting, but air strikes and clashes increased in November.

The region is home to almost three million people, half of whom were transferred there en masse from other areas that were taken by pro-government forces.

The Idlib region, home to around three million people including many displaced by Syria's eight-year civil war, is largely under the control of a group dominated by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

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