Saturday’s downing of a Russian Su-25 warplane and the killing of its pilot has led to an escalation of Russian airstrikes in northern Syria on Sunday, with bombs pounding rebel-held Idlib throughout Sunday, killing over 30 militants.
The Syrian military has been carrying out offensives in Idlib Province for weeks, and Russian and Syrian warplanes have been active in the region, trying to soften up the many rebel factions. The high profile death of a pilot seems to have Russia wanting to make an extra show of force.
In addition to reports of militant deaths, airstrikes in Idlib also reported hit some civilian targets, including a hospital in Maarat al-Numaan, killing a number of innocent bystanders.
Idlib Province is the biggest remaining rebel-held territory in Syria, with evacuations negotiated elsewhere putting many of the major factions within the province. The dense population of both fighters and civilians has led to a lot of infighting, and a lot of civilian casualties whenever the war has ended up in the province.
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