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Car blast, air strikes hit Syria's Idlib city - monitor

  • 24 Aug 2019

The car bomb exploded in the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib, killing two people and injuring at least 11 others.

Smoke billows following a reported regime air strike on the eastern outskirts of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northern province of Idlib on August 24, 2019. ( AFP )

A car bomb exploded in the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib on Saturday, a war monitor and opposition news channel said, as air strikes hit its outskirts in a regime offensive on the last major opposition bastion.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and opposition-run Orient News said a car blew up in the al Qusoor neighbourhood. 

The Observatory said the blast killed two and wounded at least 11.

The city and the surrounding Idlib province in northwest Syria form part of the last big opposition stronghold in Syria.

The regime's brutal push into northwestern Syria has seen over 800 people killed and thousands displaced in just four months in Idlib and Hama, violating a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone.

TRT World's Sarah Firth, who is in Syria, explains how regime advance on the last opposition-bastion is worsening the humanitarian crisis in the region.

On Friday Russia-backed Syrian troops reclaimed a cluster of towns they had lost early in the eight-year-old war, driving out the last rebel fighters from the Hama countryside.

Idlib city itself has largely been spared air strikes since the major bombing campaign began in late April, but on Saturday its outskirts were hit from the air, the Observatory and opposition media said.

Heavy strikes continued to hit the south of Idlib province, including around Maarat al-Numan, a city that has been a sanctuary for families fleeing former rebel areas around the country. 

This week tens of thousands fled to Syria's border with Turkey as the fighting advanced.

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