Russian airstrike kills more than 6 al-Qaeda militants in Syria, officials say

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A Russian airstrike Tuesday targeted a military post of a group linked to al-Qaeda in northwest Syria killing at least six militants, medical officials and a war monitor said.

The airstrike on the Jabal al-Zawiya area in the northwestern province of Idlib came two days after another airstrike on a busy vegetable market in the same province killed at least nine people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the Tuesday morning airstrike killed eight militants and wounded other members of the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS.

Medical officials in the area said the strike killed six militants and wounded others.

It is not uncommon to have conflicting figures of casualties in the aftermath of airstrikes on Idlib province, the last remaining rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria.

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Russia joined the war in September 2015, helping tip the balance of power in favor of President Bashar Assad in the 12-year conflict that has killed half a million people.

Neither Syrian nor Russian authorities commented on Tuesday’s airstrike.

HTS is the most powerful group in the region which is also home to other factions including Turkey-backed groups. Turkey has been a main backer of the opposition since the conflict began and has troops deployed in northern Syria.

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