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27 civilians dead in Russian strikes in Syria's Idlib: UK-based monitor

27 civilians dead in Russian strikes in Syria's Idlib: UK-based monitor”

US-backed forces in eastern Syria say Russian Federation bombed their positions in a major natural gas field they recently captured from Islamic State militants.

"The Russian Air Force does not strike populated areas in the Syrian Arab Republic", General Igor Konashenkov told RT.

"We are now taking joint moves with Iran and Russian Federation to establish a de-escalation zone in the area of the Syrian city of Afrin in the north of the country", the prime minister said, TASS reported. Russian Federation began an intervention in Syria in support of ally President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, and has helped the regime win back large parts of the country.

The two sides are racing to defeat the militants and snap up oil and gas fields, fuelling fears of conflict between the two groups.

The Pentagon accused Russian jets of attacking the SDF last week.

The SDF fighters, backed by U.S. special forces, are combing the city to defuse the bombs left by IS, said the Observatory.

Elsewhere, warplanes continued Sunday to pound Syria's rural Idlib and Hama, where insurgents led by an al-Qaidalinked group began an offensive against government troops in the area.

Russian airstrikes have killed 45 members of a regime opposition group in the north-western Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor has said.

"Following the additional reconnaissance, carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles, and in line with verified information received via other sources, the aircraft of the Russian Air Force task group delivered 10 strikes against terrorist facilities in the province of Idlib", Konashenkov said.



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