Airstrikes Kill 19 in Syria; hundreds of thousands remain displaced

At least 19 people were killed and 68 injured in airstrikes in Northwest Syria on Wednesday, volunteer rescue group The White Helmet is reporting.

The group says two strikes hit the city of Idlib, the last area still held by rebel forces in that country. Activists say there are people still buried under the rubble of the destroyed buildings.

The strikes come just a few days after a ceasefire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia came into affect.

The UN says 350 thousand people have been displaced in North West Syria since December due to the recent flare of violence.

Syrian troops backed by pro-Iranian militias and Russian jets have renewed their offensive in the opposition-held Idlib province since early December.

News Agency Reuters is reporting that Russian jets and Syrian artillery have pounded towns and villages in recent weeks in a renewed assault on Idlib aimed at clearing the opposition.

 The Syrian government is trying to recapture Idlib as it would be a strategic gain in the current campaign whose goal is also to regain control of a major trade route that is vital to Syria’s economy.

Source: CNN, Reuters, Photo courtesy AP