At least 61 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the air strikes on rebel-held Atareb inside a "de-escalation zone" agreed by Russia, Iran and Turkey. A war monitor says Russian or regime planes carried out the attacks.

FILE PHOTO: A still image from video taken October 12, 2016 of a general view of the bomb damaged Old City area of Aleppo, Syria.
FILE PHOTO: A still image from video taken October 12, 2016 of a general view of the bomb damaged Old City area of Aleppo, Syria. ( Reuters )

Air strikes that ripped through a market in a rebel-held Syrian town have killed at least 61 people, mostly civilians, a war monitor said on Tuesday.

Three strikes hit the northwestern town of Atareb on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said, despite a "de-escalation zone" in place there.

"A number of people died of their wounds, bringing the toll to 61 people, including five children and three policemen," SOHR said.

The Britain-based monitor said it was not clear whether the bombing raids had been carried out by Syrian government warplanes, or those of its ally Russia.

TRT World's Ahmed al Burai reports from Idlib in Syria.

Air strikes were in "de-escalation zone"

Atareb is in the west of Aleppo province, in an area that is part of a "de-escalation zone" agreed under a deal earlier this year between the regime's allies Russia and Iran, and opposition backer Turkey.

The agreement is regularly violated.

The zone mostly covers neighbouring Idlib province, which is largely held by opposition forces and the formerly al Qaeda-affiliated Hayat Tahrir al Sham, previously known as the Al Nusra Front.

Despite the regime’s recapture of Aleppo city late last year, rebel groups maintain a presence in the west of the province.

Atareb has been hit by Russian and Syrian regime air strikes since 2015, when Russia intervened in the war in Syria, turning the tide in the regime's favour. 

The town has become home to tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in nearby areas.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Syria and 11 million displaced since the conflict began in March 2011 with protests against Bashar al Assad’s regime.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies