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28 Civilians Killed in Rebel-Held Village in Syria

FILE - This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets shows Civil Defense workers using machinery to search through the rubble after airstrikes hit in Khan Sheikhoun, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria, Sept, 24, 2017.

A human rights monitoring group says at least 28 civilians, including four children, have been killed in airstrikes in a rebel-held village in northwestern Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday the strikes were carried out on the town of Amanaz, located in Idlib province near the Turkish border.

The Britain-based group said it was not immediately clear if the strikes were carried out by Syria or Russia, a key ally.

Rescue workers have said, however, that Syrian and Russian airstrikes have killed scores of civilians since September 19, when insurgents launched an offensive against government-controlled areas in northwestern Syria.

Syrian and Russian military officials have denied killing civilians, maintaining they only target rebel forces.

Until the recent escalation, the Idlib region had been relatively quiet for six months. It is currently controlled by a jihadist group formerly known as the Nusra Front.

Russia, Turkey and Iran brokered a safe zone agreement for the area in May but the jihadists are not covered by the deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Thursday to escalate efforts to establish a safe zone in Idlib as part of the broader deal reached in May.