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Syria: 20 killed in airstrikes on rebel-held city

Idlib: Atleast 20 people were killed and several others suffered injuries in airstrikes on a busy market in the rebel-held city in northwestern Syria on Monday.

The raid, which targeted the town of Maaret al-Numan in southern Idlib province, was carried out by Syrian government or its ally Russia, reported AL Jazeera.

Soon after the market attack, Syrian state media said that rebels shelled the government-held village of Jouring in northern Hama province, killing seven civilians.

Syria is marred by civil war since 2011.

More than 370,000 people were killed and millions were displaced in Syria and abroad since the beginning of the Syrian war in March 2011.

The Russian-backed offensive has so far failed to make major inroads into rebel territory in northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces, where the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) is putting up fierce resistance in their last remaining bastion in Syria.

However, Moscow and the Syrian army have repeatedly denied allegations of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas or any campaign to paralyse the daily life in rebel-held areas.

Russia has blamed the terrorist group for breaking a truce by hitting government-held areas and said Turkey has failed to live up to its obligations under a deal brokered last year that created a buffer zone in the area that obliges it to push out rebels.

According to the United Nations, nearly half of the estimated three million inhabitants in northwest Syria – including Idlib province and parts of neighbouring provinces – had already fled the fighting and moved to areas near the border with Turkey.

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