Syria keeps up deadly bombardment of rebel-held town

International

FILE – This Saturday, July 27, 2019 file photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man carrying an injured girl after an airstrike hit the northern town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria. Syrian opposition activists and a war monitor said Sunday, July 28, 2019, that five people have been killed in airstrikes on Ariha on Sunday as the government keeps up its deadly air campaign against the rebel-controlled region. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP, File)

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BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes on a town in the country’s northwest killed five people, two of whom were from the same family, opposition activists said Sunday.

The airstrikes on the town of Ariha came as the government continued its deadly air campaign against the last rebel-held region in Syria.

Another 21 people were wounded in the airstrikes. The causality figures were provided by both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, and the opposition-affiliated first responders known as the White Helmets.

The town has been particularly targeted over the past week, as the government looks to regain momentum in its stalled offensive against Idlib province, which began in late April.

A day earlier, activists had said an airstrike in Ariha killed 11 people when it hit a busy market there. It is one of the main towns in Idlib province, which along with the surrounding rural areas of Hama province, are home to 3 million people.

The rebel enclave is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadi groups. The government says it is targeting terrorist locations.

Most of the civilians living in the rebel stronghold have already been displaced by other bouts of violence.

Over the last three years, the government regained control of most of the territories that were initially seized by the opposition in the early days of the civil conflict — now in its 9th year.

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