Syria strikes kill 15 civilians after extremist attack

Regime forces killed at least 15 civilians Sunday (June 10th) in airstrikes carried out in north-western Syria in apparent retaliation for an extremist attack on two besieged government-held villages, AFP reported.

The bombing raids hit a string of towns and villages in the north-western province of Idlib, which is almost entirely controlled by various extremists and hardline opposition fighters.

In the town of Taftanaz the strikes killed 10 civilians, including four children, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said strikes had also hit near a children's hospital, putting it out of service.

Five other civilians were killed in raids that hit other towns.

The airstrikes came a day after extremists from Tahrir al-Sham launched an attack on Fuaa and Kafraya, two villages held by the regime but cut off by hardline forces.

Six Syrian pro-regime fighters and at least three from Tahrir al-Sham were killed in the fighting, which continued on Sunday.

Separately, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for an investigation of airstrikes believed to have been carried out by Russian jets in Syria, killing dozens including children.

The air attack on the night of June 7th to 8th targeted the village of Zardana in Idlib and left 44 dead including six children.

In a statement, Guterres expressed "deep concern" about the strikes and called for a "full investigation into the attacks, especially allegations that there was also a second strike targeting first responders, to establish accountability".

He recalled that Idlib is part of the de-escalation agreement for Syria reached between Turkey, Russia and Iran and urged those guarantors to uphold their commitment.

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