More than 40 dead in rocket attack on rebels | TIME ONLINE

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A few hours after the entry into force of a new ceasefire, at least 40 suspected Islamists have been killed in a rocket attack in the disputed province of Idlib. This was reported by rebels and observers. The attack was north of Idlib between the villages of Kafaria and Maarat, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It is said that two high-ranking commanders of the Islamist terrorist militia Hurras al-Din have been killed, which is allied with the Al Qaeda terrorist network. The information is independently difficult to verify.

Who is responsible for the attack, was initially unclear. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it is also uncertain whether it was an attack by fighter jets or ground-based missiles. From the environment of the rebels it was said, fighter planes had fired seven rockets. The explosions were heard widely in the region.

Fragile truce

On Friday, the Syrian government proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire for the rebel controlled province of Idlib. According to the Syrian military, however, “terrorists” were exempted. The rebels in Idlib accuse the Syrian army of wanting to use the ceasefire to bring reinforcements to the front line.

Russia, which supports the Syrian government, and Turkey, which is considered an ally of the rebels, had previously agreed on a so-called de-escalation zone for Idlib. An early August for the rebel province proclaimed cease-fire but held only briefly.

In the Idlib region in the northwest Syria about three million people live according to estimates. The area is the last major region under the control of rebels after more than eight years of civil war. The bulk of Idlib is controlled by the rebel group Hajat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which emerged from the Syrian al-Qaeda offshoot.

The troops of the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad had begun at the end of April with an offensive on Idlib and achieved strategically important terrain gains in recent weeks. Syria and Russia regularly fly air raids, killing civilians again and again. The attacks justify them with the fight against terrorists. Since the start of the government's offensive, more than 570,000 people have been displaced, according to the UN. Aid organizations report a dramatic humanitarian situation.

. (TagsToTranslate) policy (t) Idlib (t) Idlib (t) Syria (t) Truce (t) Russia

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