At least 9 people killed in Syrian government shelling of a rebel-held village, the opposition says


BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces’ shelling of a northwestern village Saturday killed at least nine people, including six children, as they picked olives, opposition activists said.

The shelling of the village of Qawqafeen, in Idlib province, is the latest violation of a truce reached in March 2020 between Russia and Turkey, who back rival sides in Syria’s 12-year conflict that has killed half a million people.

Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded over the past years in violations of the truce that ended a monthslong Russian-backed government offensive on the northwestern Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

The shelling of the farm was reported by the Britain-based opposition war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets.

The White Helmets said it treated one woman who was wounded and handed over the bodies of the dead to their families.

Idlib is home to more than 4 million people, many of them internally displaced by Syria’s conflict that broke out in March 2011. The war displaced half the country’s prewar population of 23 million and left large parts of Syria destroyed.

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