Russian airstrikes kill 9 in Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Airstrikes by Russia killed 9 and injured 10 people in rebel-held Idlib province on Sunday, Anadolu news agency reported.

More than 3 million people are crammed into the province, many having fled fighting elsewhere in the country. Thousands of government opponents took refuge in Idlib following defeats elsewhere in the country. 

A year ago, Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib in order to keep the Syrian government from launching an assault. But Ankara failed to clear the area of rebels, as al-Qaeda-linked Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) significantly expanded its territory, provoking the Syrian government forces to launch an offensive in the region late in April, with air support from Moscow.

Following the incursion, United Nations’ agencies and NGOs say more than 300,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and move closer to the border with Turkey, according to the UN.