At least nine killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib

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By Webdesk

More than 34 people were injured in the bombings that also targeted a crowded market.

At least nine civilians were killed and more than 34 injured after Russian warplanes launched numerous air strikes on Idlib in northwestern Syria, including a market packed with shoppers, according to a group of emergency rescue volunteers.

Sunday’s attack targeted a vegetable market in the town of Jisr al-Shughour, in the eastern countryside of Idlib, said the Syrian civil defence, also known as the White Helmets.

A local observer told Al Jazeera that two Russian Su-24s attacked the city of Idlib, Benin and the al-Arbeen mountain region in five strikes, while a Russian Su-34 hit the market in Jisr al-Shughour.

“During our work today at the vegetable market, we were startled by an air raid aimed at the market where we were present. [it] in a pool of blood and the remains of victims,” said Reda Hayshid, a 21-year-old vegetable vendor.

Ahmed Yazji, who sits on the Syrian Civil Defense Board of Directors, said: “Overall, the Syrian regime and Russian attacks on the region have seen an escalation in recent days, which puts a huge strain on our work, as both [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and Russia are known to double attack areas where we are present as we try to rescue the victims and the wounded.”

Hayshid told Al Jazeera that the vegetable market in Jisr al-Shughour is considered the central market for most farmers in the area and suburbs, who sell their crops there every day.

“The scenes of my friends that I saw daily in this market continue to haunt my imagination as some of them took their last breath, while others lost their limbs to the air raid,” Hayshid said.

“[The] The Assad regime and Russia are fighting us, even our… livelihoods, and they only care about inflicting as many casualties and wounded as possible.”

Rami Jaafar, who was shopping at the market, left just 10 minutes before the bombing. He hurried back after the attack to check on his relatives who worked in the market.

“On the way home with my family, we heard the sound of an explosion coming from the direction of the vegetable market. I quickly secured my family in one of the homes in Jisr al-Shughour and hurried to the market to check on my cousins ​​who were there,” said Jaafar.

“The place was filled with dust, the smell of blood and gunpowder permeated the air. There was no sound except the moans of the injured and the ambulances transporting my cousins ​​to hospital,” he added.

Air strikes in Syria
More than 34 people were injured in multiple Russian attacks on Idlib, in northwestern Syria, according to emergency services [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Syrian forces backed by Russia also heavily bombarded the outskirts of the towns of Sarja and Al-Rawihah in southern Idlib. There have been six consecutive days of relentless bombing in parts of northwestern Syria, which lies along the border with Turkey.

Damascus and Moscow have claimed in the past that they only target insurgent groups.

“We strongly condemn direct attacks against civilians in towns and villages by [the] The Syrian regime and Russia, because it leads to the displacement of their population in an attempt to cause demographic change in the region,” said Obaida Dandoush, field operations manager at the Syria Response Coordination Group, a local humanitarian organization.

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