Syrian Planes Pound Northwest Syria After Heavy Fighting

At least 13 civilians reported killed in Idlib

Heavy fighting throughout Thursday in northwestern Syria has quieted down, but Syrian forces have continued to carry out airstrikes in rebel-held areas, particularly in the Idlib Province and its provincial capital.

Details on the casualties aren’t entirely clear, but one airstrike hit a residential area in Idlib, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 13 civilians killed there. There was no word of any further rebel pushes into government-controlled territory. Other reports on strikes came out of the White Helmets organization, a group which tends to be funded by Western governments and isn’t known for its accuracy.

Idlib Province is the main rebel-held territory left in Syria, and is held almost entirely by al-Qaeda. Some territory in neighboring Aleppo is held by Turkish-backed rebels, and on Thursday fighting was reported in both areas.

While Turkey has tried to insist on a ceasefire in the area to prevent their own rebels from being wiped out, al-Qaeda has never honored such deals, and its repeated pushes into government territory are constantly provoking on-again, off-again offensives like this.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.