Syrian opposition activists and pro-government media claim warplanes attacked Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria, killing and injuring more than a dozen activists
BEIRUT – Warplanes attacked Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria on Sunday, killing and injuring around 20, an opposition war observer and media said pro-government.
The airstrike hit a position in an area near the city of Afrin. He intervened amid growing tensions between government forces and insurgent groups that still have a stronghold in northwestern Syria, mainly in Idlib province.
Sunday morning’s airstrike was carried out by Russian fighter jets, opposition activists said.
The airstrike hit the center of a Turkish-backed group known as the Hamza Division, killing seven fighters and injuring 13, according to Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Pro-government media also reported Russian airstrikes near Afrin, claiming that a number of gunmen were killed or injured.
Russia joined the war in September 2015, helping to tip the balance of power in favor of President Bashar Assad’s forces while Turkey has been one of the main supporters of the opposition.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that her office had documented the deaths of 350,209 people – civilians and combatants – in the civil war in Syria. She said the actual number is almost certainly much higher.