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Artillery in Northwest Syria Kills 6, Including 2 Children

In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets (SCDWH), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, SCDWH workers stand at the site where a shell struck in the Maaret al-Naasan village in Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 12, 2022.

Six people from the same family, including two children, were killed in a Syrian military artillery strike on a rebel-held village in northwest Syria on Saturday, opposition activists said.

Residents said the family was outside their house enjoying sunny weather and drinking tea when the shell struck. Low-flying reconnaissance aircraft circled the area, Maarat al-Naasan village in Idlib province, after the strike.

The opposition's Syrian Civil Defense group, also known as the White Helmets, said the two children were three and seven years old. It said a total of 65 children have been killed in a renewed bombing campaign by the Russian-backed Syrian government targeting Idlib in the past six months.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Syria war monitoring group, also reported the deaths. It said government forces also shelled areas around the villages of Kafr A'ama and Taqad, west of the city of Aleppo.

Idlib province is the last rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria, and is home to about 3 million people, many of them internally displaced. It is regularly bombed by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Syria's decade-old conflict has killed nearly half-a=million people and displaced half the country's pre-war population of 23 million.