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Monitor: Syrian Jets Attack Key Idlib City Seized by Insurgents

  • VOA News

Rebel fighters inspect a site damaged by what activists said was shelling by warplanes loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Jisr al-Shughour town, after the rebels took control of the area, April 26, 2015.

Rebel fighters inspect a site damaged by what activists said was shelling by warplanes loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Jisr al-Shughour town, after the rebels took control of the area, April 26, 2015.

Syrian fighter jets bombarded the key northwestern city of Jisr al-Shughour on Sunday, a day after the al-Qaida affiliated Nusra Front and its allies seized it for the first time in the four-year conflict.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors fighting in Syria, said at least four airstrikes hit the city, which had been one of the government's last strongholds in Idlib province after the rebels captured the provincial capital of Idlib city a month ago.

The capture of Jisr al-Shughour, a city of 50,000, was the latest in a series of losses for Damascus in the northern and southern regions of Syria. With its fall, the government is left with a presence in only a few towns and villages in Idlib province.

There was no immediate word on casualties from the Sunday air raids, but the observatory said at least 27 people were killed in Saturday airstrikes, including 20 insurgents.

State media said government forces had redeployed outside Jisr al-Shughour "to avoid casualties among innocent civilians."

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