Syrian army shelling kills six children, sparking outrage in rebel-held northwest

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Syrian army shelling on Sunday in the country’s rebel-held northwest killed six children, four from the same family, a war monitor reported.

“Regime ground forces” shelled Qarqor in the Idlib rebel bastion, hitting near a house and killing “six children, four of them from one family,” said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Swathes of Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces are controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syria branch.

HTS is considered a terrorist group by Damascus, as well as by the United States and United Nations.

The group and allied factions later Sunday attacked regime positions in response to the shelling, said the Observatory, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria.

Civil war erupted in Syria after President Bashar al-Assad’s government crushed peaceful protests in 2011.

The conflict has killed more than half a million people and displaced millions after spiralling into a devastating war involving foreign armies, militias and extremists.

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