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Aleppo and Idlib: Tens killed in Syrian and Russian air strikes, say reports

The attacks come after Syrian government forces sent warning messages to rebel fighters in eastern Aleppo
Syrian pro-government forces a village in west of Aleppo, after they retook the area from rebel fighters on 12 November 2016 (AFP)

At least 15 civilians, including children, have been killed and tens of others injured in Syrian government air strikes over neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo on Monday, reported Al Jazeera.

The targeted areas include the rebel-held neighbourhoods of al-Salhin, al-Shahd and al-Sukary in eastern Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Russian air strikes over the suburbs of Idlib have reportedly seen at least nine civilians killed and others injured in residential areas of several villages, according to the Arabic news website.

'The [government] threatening us with modern weapons is merely a propaganda tool by the Syrian army against us'

- Omar Saqqar, rebel spokesperson, Fstaqim Kama Umirt

Russian air strikes targeted a hospital in Idlib’s Binnish: two members of the medical team were injured while parts of the hospital were destroyed.

Syrian army air strikes targeting the cities of Maarat al-Numan and Khan Shaykhoon in the Idlib province also killed an infant and mother and injured several others.

The attacks came as Syrian army forces attempt to move in on eastern Aleppo, supported by Russian air strikes across several neighbourhoods and villages in tyhe region, reported Aljazeera.

But rebel forces said that tens of soldiers from the Syrian army were killed or injured in an air strike that mistakenly targeted a military position in Karm Trab, in eastern Aleppo.

Despite the government assault on eastern Aleppo, rebel forces say they will not be shaken by the attacks and will remain to fight for the remaining areas that they hold.

Syria: Who occupies what as of 11 November 2016
"The [government] threatening us with modern weapons is merely a propaganda tool by the Syrian army against us," said Omar Saqqar, spokesperson for the Fstaqim Kama Umirt, a rebel group fighting in Aleppo.

Syrian army warns residents in east Aleppo

The attack came after residents in east Aleppo received messages on Sunday from the army giving opposition fighters 24 hours to leave.

"Gunmen in east Aleppo, you have 24 hours only to take the decision to leave," the message said.

'Gunmen in east Aleppo, you have 24 hours only to take the decision to leave'

- Syrian army

The warning messages came as Syrian government forces clashed with rebels on the outskirts of eastern Aleppo, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, and an AFP correspondent in rebel-held east Aleppo reported clashes in the Karam al-Turab district and the village of Al-Aziza just outside the city.

The AFP correspondent said the fighting could be heard in much of the rebel-held east, which is surrounded by government forces and has come under repeated assault since the army announced an operation to recapture it in September.

Since 2012, Aleppo has been divided into a government-held west and rebel-held east.

The government has unleashed a massive assault, backed by Russian warplanes, which killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed infrastructure including hospitals.

More than 300,000 people have now been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Turkish warplanes target IS in al-Bab in push to take Raqqa

While the Syrian army continues to pound rebel fighters in eastern Aleppo, Turkish warplanes struck 15 Islamic State targets in the al-Bab area of northern Syria on Sunday, in an operation with Syrian rebels to drive militants out of the border region, the Turkish military said on Monday.

Ten IS defensive positions, command centers and an ammunition store were destroyed in the strikes, the army said in a statement. Nine Syrian rebels were killed and 52 wounded during clashes in the region, it added.

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), supported by Turkish army forces, took control of several villages near al-Bab, reported Aljazeera.

According to Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid, reporting from Gaziantep on the Turkish-Syrian border, the attack on al-Bab "started a few days ago when the Turkish military resumed air strikes on the area".

"Since then, [the Turkish-backed] FSA fighters have come much closer to retaking al-Bab", he said, using an acronym to refer to the Free Syrian Army.

President Tayyip Erdogan has said seizing control of al Bab, around 30km (19 miles) south of the border, is a goal of the operation before targeting Manbij, from which Kurdish-led forces recently drove IS, and the IS stronghold of Raqqa.

The Turkish military launched the operation, dubbed 'Euphrates Shield', on 24 August. The rebel forces have so far seized control of about 1,620 square km (625 square miles) of territory, the military said.

The operation has also targeted the Kurdish YPG militia in the region. Ten of the group's fighters were "neutralized" in shelling over the last 24 hours as they tried to seize control of the Tal Jijan area, the statement said.

The YPG is an ally of the United States in its fight against Islamic State. But Ankara denounces the YPG as an affiliate of the PKK, which has fought the Turkish military in southeast Turkey for three decades and which is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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