Violence has been rising in recent weeks in Idlib, the last-rebel enclave between the regime and its allied forces and insurgents on the edge of a territory that is home to nearly 4 million people, despite a truce brokered in March 2020.
Several civilians were reported killed, including three children, when Syrian regime rockets hit two villages in the last rebel stronghold in Idlib, rescue workers and a war monitor have said.
The deaths reported on Thursday come amid an uptick in violations of a ceasefire deal that was brokered by Turkey and Russia in March 2020 and had since largely held.
Since June, regime forces have stepped up shelling of rebel groups dominating the Idlib region who in turn have responded by targeting regime positions in surrounding areas.
The Syrian Civil Defense team that operates in opposition areas, known as White Helmets, said guided missiles struck in Ibleen, a village in southern Idlib, killing a woman, her daughter and a child and injuring four others. All were from the same family, the White Helmets said.
In eastern Idlib, at least six were killed, including a child, when rockets hit an area where a quarry is located near Foa, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Those killed were stone cutters, the Observatory said. The White Helmets also reported the strike, but said two children were among those killed..
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Earlier this month, regime shelling on southern Idlib killed nine people, including five members of the same family, in one of the deadliest violations of the truce.
The Idlib region, which borders Turkey to the north and is home to more than three million people, is the last part of Syria controlled by rebel or militant groups.
The Syrian regime, backed by Russia and Iran, has vowed to retake the area and the enclave has shrunk under pressure from successive deadly land and air offensives.
Despite sporadic skirmishes along the ceasefire lines, the truce has largely held, averting a major assault that aid groups warned could cause suffering on a scale yet unseen in Syria's decade-old war.
The war has killed nearly 500,000 people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations.
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