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Air strikes kill 12 civilians in northwest Syria

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Russian air strikes and Syrian regime forces have killed 12 civilians in northwestern Syria, where heavy shelling has killed hundreds of people since late April, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The source said that Russian air strikes on several areas in the southern province of Idlib killed six civilians.

He added that the regime’s air strikes also killed six civilians in the same area under the control of “HTS”, adding that the shelling wounded 27 other civilians.

Since Wednesday, the Syrian army has taken control of the main city of Khan Sheikhoun from jihadists and fighting factions and swept the countryside south until it surrounded the Turkish observation post in northern Hama province.

On Saturday, pro-government fighters rallied north of Khan Sheikhoun in an apparent attempt to continue the offensive.

After Khan Sheikhoun, Maarrat al-Nu’man is the next town on a major highway that runs through Idlib province. Analysts say Damascus wants it back.

Full government control of the road will allow the capital to be linked with Aleppo, which it regained full control in late 2016.

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