PREEMPTIVE PUNISHMENT: The regime conducted heavy air raids across Idlib province Tuesday, reportedly killing seven people in attacks on a town to discourage rebels from using the area as a launching point for attacks on a nearby regime base, an Ahrar a-Sham spokesman told Syria Direct Wednesday.
“It appears that the repeated targeting of Kurin is a result of the regime’s fear that rebels will launch an attack from the town towards [regime-held al-Mastuma] military base,” said Abu al-Yazid Teftenaz, without adding whether or not an attack is imminent.
Al-Mastuma camp is calm for now, said Teftenaz, with the exception of occasional mortar exchange between rebels in the vicinity and regime soldiers inside.
The regime began a relentless bombing campaign on Idlib city and its surrounding countryside after rebels took control of the area at the end of March. Tuesday’s assault included 50 missile and 30 barrel bomb attacks across the province, reported pro-opposition Al-Aan TV Wednesday.
“The city of Idlib was exposed Tuesday to more than 60 raids, most of which targeted civilians,” Major a-Salih, head of the Civil Defense in Idlib city told Syria Direct.
Aside from Kurin, regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on Idlib city Tuesday, killing four people, with a total estimate of 23 people killed across the province the same day, reported pro-opposition Sham News Network.
“The Civil Defense [i.e. rescue personnel] have not stopped aiding the wounded or pulling out victims from under the rubble in Idlib city, which is being hit by the harshest air raids in two weeks,” the Idlib Civil Defense wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
Rebels cannot stop the regime’s bombing of the city because of a lack of anti-aircraft guns, a citizen journalist embedded with Ahrar a-Sham in Idlib city told Syria Direct last week.
“The bombing has caused constant displacement of civilians from the city,” he added.
-April 8, 2015
-Photo courtesy of Civil Defense Idlib