Syrian government air strikes have killed 15 civilians, 12 of them in a market, as fierce fighting raged for the jihadist-held northwest, a monitor says.
Government forces battled to repel a jihadist counteroffensive around the town of Kafr Nabuda that has left more than 50 combatants dead in 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, controls a large part of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.
The jihadist-dominated region is nominally protected by a buffer zone deal, but the government and its Russian ally have escalated their bombardment in recent weeks, seizing several towns on its southern flank.
At least 12 people have been killed and another 18 wounded when the warplanes hit the jihadist-held Idlib province town of Maarat al-Numan around midnight (2100 GMT) on Tuesday, the Observatory says.
The market was crowded with people out and about after breaking the daytime fast observed by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The bombardment blew in the facades of surrounding buildings, and ripped through the flimsy frames and canvas of stalls in the market square, an AFP photographer reported.
The bodies of market-goers were torn apart.