Airstrikes harvest civilians’ lives after targetting market in Idlib

Airstrikes harvest civilians' lives after targetting market in Idlib

At least seven civilians were killed and 70 others injured after airstrikes targeted different areas in Idlib countryside, activists said.

Tuesday’s attack, blamed on Assad regime and Russian warplanes, struck a vegetable market in the Marret Masreen village, according to the Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer rescue group.

The attacks which hit the city were carried out using the internationally-prohibited cluster bombs, targeting the main Souk al-Hal market in Ma’aret Misreen.

“At 10am (07:00 GMT) the warplanes dropped cluster bombs on the al-Hal souq. The initial death toll is seven, mostly men, while between 30 to 35 have been injured so far, some critically,” Hatem al-Shab, head of the Syrian Civil Defence centre in Marret Masreen, said.

“We are still transferring people to hospitals.”

The popular market was crowded with greengrocers and buyers which led to the injury of more than seventy civilians, according to activists in Idlib.

“We received seven dead people in our hospital today. We do not know the exact number of fatalities yet, as we have many severe injury cases,” a doctor from the city’s hospital told Orient News correspondent.

“The injuries we received at the hospital are about seventy, most of them are greengrocers. There even children and women among the injured,” the doctor added.

“As we were trying to earn our living, Russian warplanes targeted us with cluster bombs. This is a main grocery market in the city. We do not have arms in here. We are neither selling rockets nor bombs. We are selling cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and onions!,” one of the injured greengrocers told Orient Net correspondent.

Civil defense volunteers are still trying to gather the unexploded cluster bombs, fearing they explode and injure more civilians.

On Monday, the group, also known as the White Helmets, recorded the death of six civilians, including two children, in attacks on the Abu Dhoor, Khan Shaykhoun and Marret Naaman areas in Idlib province.

“This last week, most of the villages in the Idlib province have been targeted, mainly with cluster bombs,” Ahmad Sheikho, the head of the media centre for the group, said.

“The shelling is random and indiscriminatory. Civilians have nothing to depend on, with the shelling targeting the city’s infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods,” Sheikho told Al Jazeera.

“We just want the shelling to stop. We want to stop having to pull out civilians and those that were killed from under the rubble”.

Idlib, the provincial capital in Syria’s northwest, has been held by opposition rebels since March 2015.

In June this year, residents faced the heaviest bombardment in months. Thousands were forced to leave the city, with activists estimating that approximately three quarters of the city’s population had fled.