BEIRUT (AP) —
According to opposition activists and a paramedic group, airstrikes on several sites in northwest Syria near the Turkish border have killed at least one person and set ablaze several vehicles used to distribute aid.
The late Sunday attacks enraged Turkey, which urged Russia to put an end to the strikes immediately, according to Turkey’s Defense Ministry, which added that Turkish troops had been placed on high alert.
In Syria’s ten-year war, Turkey and Russia support opposing parties. Last March, the two countries reached an agreement that halted a Russian-backed government offensive on Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold.
Russian warplanes attacked near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey late Sunday, according to opposition activists, hours after government artillery shelling hit a main hospital in a rebel-controlled town in northwestern Syria. Six patients were injured, including a toddler. Medical personnel were injured, causing the facility to close.
The Bab al-Hawa border crossing is a major entry point for assistance into rebel-controlled areas of northwest Syria.
According to Salwa Abdul-Rahman, an Idlib-based journalist, one of the strikes struck an area near the town of Sarmada, setting ablaze trucks used by aid workers to distribute aid.
“The targeted locations were civilian with no military presence,” she said.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in the United Kingdom, and the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, one person was killed in the strikes.
According to the civil defence, the strikes also targeted a cement factory in addition to the trucks. Hours later, the truck fires were extinguished.
A video from the area obtained by the Associated Press showed about a dozen vehicles on fire as civil defence personnel sprayed them with water.
The attack was blamed on Syrian government forces by Turkey’s Defense Ministry, which said several people were injured.