Russia says it carried out air strikes on a planned buffer zone around opposition bastion of Idlib, a day after an alleged toxic attack on regime-held city.
The Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday its warplanes had carried out air strikes against militants it held responsible for firing shells allegedly filled with chlorine gas at the city of Aleppo, Russian news agencies reported.
"Air strikes were carried out by Russian air force planes," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in comments reported by TASS state news agency, adding that "as a result of the strikes, all of the rebel fighter targets were destroyed."
Earlier on Sunday, Moscow accused the militants of poisoning 46 people, including eight children in the attack, while regime news agency SANA said that 107 people had been injured.
Russian news agencies cited Konashenkov said the Russian strikes had destroyed all of their targets and that Russia had warned Turkey of the bombing raid in advance via a telephone hotline.
Ankara didn't confirm the Russian claim immediately.
Hayat Tahrir al Sham blamed for gas attack
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said regime ally Russia "likely" carried out the air strikes on a planned buffer zone around the opposition bastion of Idlib.
They were the first to hit the area since Moscow and rebel backer Ankara agreed to set up the demilitarised area around Idlib in September to prevent a massive regime attack to retake the area.
The attack came after Russia seemed to accuse Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), an alliance led by Syria's former al Qaeda affiliate, of carrying out Saturday's chemical attack on Aleppo city.
Konashenkov said "terrorist groups" in an area of buffer zone held by HTS fired shells filled with chlorine on a residential area of the city.
The Observatory said the attack left around 100 struggling to breathe, though more than half had been discharged by Sunday morning.
Regime news agency SANA reported "107 cases of breathing difficulties".
A rebel alliance denied any involvement, but HTS did not immediately issue a statement.
Idlib buffer zone
The September 17 deal was intended to protect three million inhabitants in the Idlib region, more than half of which is held by HTS.
But its implementation has stalled after militants including HTS failed to withdraw from the planned buffer zone by a mid-October deadline.
Syria's regime has insisted that the buffer zone deal is temporary and that Idlib will eventually revert to its control.
Syria's war has killed more than 400,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.