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Syrian rescuers say government bombing kills infant

September 9, 2018
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This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, shows civilians and civil defense worker, right, next to a destroyed building that was attacked by a Syrian government airstrike, in Hobeit village, near Idlib, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. The White Helmets and a conflict monitoring group said Sunday that government and Russian forces have resumed their bombing of the opposition's last stretch of territory in the country, killing an infant girl and damaging a hospital. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — An infant girl was killed on Sunday as Syrian government forces bombed rebel-held villages in Idlib and Hama provinces, rescuers and a war monitoring group said.

Government and allied Russian forces have stepped up their bombing campaign against the Syrian opposition’s last bastion in the country after a summit between Russia, Turkey, and Iran on Friday failed to bring about a settlement.

On Sunday, government forces bombed the village of Hobeit in Idlib province, killing an infant girl and wounding several other civilians, the Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group reported.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Russian and Syrian government airstrikes on the towns of Latamneh and Kafr Zeita in the neighboring Hama province. It said a hospital in Latamneh was struck and damaged, and had to be closed.

Russia, Turkey, and Iran are all tied to the Syrian civil war. Russia and Iran have thrown their support behind President Bashar Assad’s government to help crush the 2011 uprising that sparked the war. Turkey has intervened to supply Syria’s rebels in the north and check the expansion of Kurdish self-rule along its borders. But the three brokers have been careful to avoid direct conflict with each other.

Turkey’s has 12 military outposts inside Idlib province, the core of the opposition’s remaining territory.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday urged his counterparts to accept a cease-fire and avert a “bloodbath” in Idlib. But Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a “total annihilation of terrorists in Syria,” while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke of “cleansing the Idlib region of terrorists.”

The U.N. has warned that a battle over Idlib and Hama will spark a humanitarian catastrophe. More than 3 million people live in the territory, nearly half of them already displaced from fighting elsewhere in Syria.

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