Op­po­si­tion says airstrikes in north­ern Syria kill 10 mil­i­tants

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Sarah El Deeb

BEIRUT >> Airstrikes in the north­ern Syr­ian prov­ince of Idlib killed at least 10 sus­pected al-Qaida-linked mil­i­tants in Syria on Wed­nes­day, ac­tivists said.

The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said at least 10 were killed when mis­siles struck two ve­hi­cles and three mo­tor­cy­cles in the airstrike in Saraqib, in the rebel-strong­hold prov­ince of Idlib. The Ob­ser­va­tory said it was not clear if all killed were mem­bers of Fatah al-Sham Front, the pow­er­ful al-Qaida-af­fil­i­ate in Syria. The group said mil­i­tants from other groups may be among those killed, in­clud­ing non-Syr­i­ans.

Idlib Me­dia Cen­ter, a lo­cal op­po­si­tion group, said the airstrikes killed 15, all but one were mem­ber of Fatah al-Sham. One of the killed was a mem­ber of the lo­cal po­lice, ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter. Footage posted by the cen­ter and by the op­po­si­tion Qa­sioun news agency shows two badly man­gled ve­hi­cles as fire fight­ers clear the area and wash the streets from the airstrike aftermath. The ve­hi­cles were trav­el­ing on a high­way south of Saraqib.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear who was be­hind the at­tack.

The U.S. has killed some of al-Qaida’s most se­nior com­man­ders in Syria over the past two years in airstrikes, and has re­cently also in­creased its tar­get­ing of Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in the coun­try. The Syr­ian gov­ern­ment and its ally Rus­sia have also tar­geted mil­i­tants in Syria. On Fri­day, a se­nior mem­ber of Fatah al-Sham was killed in an airstrike in Idlib.

A cease-fire across Syria since Dec. 30 doesn’t in­clude Fatah al-Sham, the gov­ern­ment says. The cease-fire was bro­kered by Rus­sia and Turkey.

Also on Wed­nes­day, airstrikes re­sumed on a Da­m­as­cus sub­urb de­spite the cease-fire, killing at least one woman and in­jur­ing sev­eral oth­ers, op­po­si­tion ac­tivists said.

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