Syrian opposition sources said Russian jets bombed rebel-held northwestern Syria on Sunday in the most extensive strikes since a Turkish-Russian deal halted major fighting with a ceasefire nearly six months ago.
Witnesses said the warplanes struck the western outskirts of Idlib city and that there was heavy artillery shelling in the mountainous Jabal al Zawya region in southern Idlib from nearby Syrian army outposts. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
“These 30 raids are by far the heaviest strikes so far since the ceasefire deal,” said Mohammed Rasheed, a former rebel official and a volunteer plane spotter whose network covers the Russian air base in the western coastal province of Latakia.
Other tracking centres said Russian Sukhoi jets hit the Horsh area and Arab Said town, west of the city of Idlib. Unidentified drones also hit two rebel-held towns in the Sahel al-Ghab plain, west of Hama province.
There has been no wide-scale aerial bombing since a March agreement ended a Russian-backed bombing campaign that displaced over a million people in the region which borders Turkey after months of fighting.
There was no immediate comment from Moscow or the Syrian army who have long accused militant groups who hold sway in the last opposition redoubt of wrecking the ceasefire deal and attacking army-held areas.