The air strikes targeted the town of Khan Subul in the centre of Idlib province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. The monitor says that it is not clear if the air strikes were conducted by the Syrian regime or the Russians.

Civil defense team members and citizens carry out search and rescue operation at the wreckage of a building after an airstrike to the de-escalation zone of Khan al-Sabil village in Idlib, Syria on January 02, 2018. At least 7 civilians were killed on the air strike.
Civil defense team members and citizens carry out search and rescue operation at the wreckage of a building after an airstrike to the de-escalation zone of Khan al-Sabil village in Idlib, Syria on January 02, 2018. At least 7 civilians were killed on the air strike. (AA)

At least seven civilians, including five children, were killed Tuesday by air strikes in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, the last outside regime control, a monitor said.

Syrian regime and allied forces backed by Russian warplanes have been battling fighters and rebels for over a week in an area straddling the border between Idlib and Hama provinces.

The air strikes targeted the town of Khan Subul in the centre of Idlib province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"There were at least seven dead, five children and two women," the Observatory said.

"We do not know if these were air strikes by the Syrian regime or the Russians," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The regime push on the edge of Idlib province follows two months of sporadic fighting that the United Nations says has displaced more than 60,000 people.

"Displacement sites are reportedly overwhelmed. Some services are 400 per cent above their planned capacity to serve," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

An AFP correspondent said there were fresh clashes Tuesday.

A column of white smoke could be seen rising into the sky after a regime air strike in the town of Al Tamana and rebels were firing artillery at regime positions.

Idlib province, currently dominated by a former Al Qaeda affiliate, was one of four "de-escalation zones" agreed to help halt fighting around the country by regime backers Russia and Iran and Turkey.

According to UN figures, the war in Syria has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since it began in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests.

Syrian regime continues push for Eastern Ghouta

Regime forces continued airstrikes against a number of targets in the eastern Ghouta pocket on Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The war monitor added that a regime air strike hit a marketplace in eastern Ghouta killing civilians.

Video uploaded to social media websites was said to show a number of explosions in Harasta and Arbeen, areas to the north of the Syrian capital Damascus.

Additional footage showed the Syrian Civil Defence Force (the White Helmets) attending to people injured in the attacks, including women and children.

Eastern Ghouta has seen fierce fighting in recent weeks, as the Syrian regime attempts to dislodge rebels from the area.

Source: AFP