At least 35 people were killed when Russian warplanes attacked a rebel-held village in northwestern Syria, a Syrian war monitor and paramedics said on Friday, making it one of the deadliest episodes in that part of the country this year.
The airstrike Thursday night in the village of Zardana also injured at least 80 people, said the Syrian Civil Defense, a group of volunteer emergency workers known as the White Helmets. Three of the group’s members were killed as they evacuated the dead and the wounded, the organization said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain, said the attack occurred after Muslims had broken their Ramadan holiday fast after sunset. The group put the death toll at 44, including six children and 11 women.
Conflicting figures in the aftermath of attacks in Syria are not uncommon. The Observatory said the number could rise, as some victims were still under rubble and some of the wounded were in critical condition.
The group said the airstrike was carried out by Russian warplanes and was the deadliest in Idlib Province so this year. In February, a Russian fighter jet was shot down in the rebel-controlled area, and the pilot was killed by members of a militia on the ground after parachuting from the plane.
Assaults by Russian-backed Syrian forces have put tens of thousands of civilians at risk, and the United Nations has expressed alarm at a surge of fighting and destruction in the province.
But such airstrikes have been relatively uncommon in recent months in Idlib Province, which is one of the last rebel strongholds and is part of a de-escalation zone agreed to last year by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Tens of thousands of Syrians displaced from other parts of the country have settled in Idlib Province over the past two years.