White Helmets rescuers search for victims amid rubble after pro-Assad warplanes bombed a market in Binnish, Syria, January 11, 2020


A report from journalist Hadi al-Abdallah on the latest mass killing of civilians in Idlib Province by pro-Assad forces:

Rescue of a child from under rubble:

ORIGINAL ENTRY: At least 20 people have been killed and more than 40 wounded in the latest pro-Assad bombing of Idlib Province in northwest Syria, the last major opposition area in the country.

Warplanes attacked four towns and cities, with seven people killed in Idlib city, four in al-Nayrab, and six in Binnish. At least six children were among the victims.

The strikes came before a Sunday ceasefire, announced by Russia and Turkey, is supposed to take effect.

Since late April, Russia and the Assad regime have been pursuing an offensive to retake the opposition area, shattering a “de-escalation zone” around Idlib and northern Hama Province which was announced by Moscow and Ankara in September 2018.

The offensive has killed almost 1,200 civilians, wounded thousands, and displaced more than 600,000. Russia and the regime have seized almost all of northern Hama and part of southern Idlib, with Turkey unable to check the assault and the advance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a pause in operations in early September, but they resumed with even greater intensity in November. Within two weeks in December, more than 235,000 people fled the area in and near the city of Ma’arat al-Num’an.

On Wednesday, Russian and regime forces pounded the emptied Ma’arat al-Num’an, damaging the last remaining hospital in southern Idlib Province.

Pro-Assad bombing struck the White Helmets civil defense center in the city on Saturday, damaging it and destroying the warehouse.

See also Syria Daily, Jan 9: Russia and Regime Pound Emptied Town of Ma’arat al-Num’an, Damage Last Hospital
Syria Daily, Dec 28: UN — 235,000+ Flee Latest Russia-Regime Offensive in Idlib

UN officials have said the attacks are tantamount to a “war crime”, but the international community has been unable or unwilling to take any action. Instead, Russia and China vetoed the continuation of UN cross-border aid last month and only allowed a limited six-month extension on Friday.