Scenes of destruction and chaos in the aftermath of a regime airstrike on the rebel-controlled northern Jisr al-Shughour countryside in Idlib province flooded social media on Monday, hours after the bombing.
More than 100 civilians were killed and injured in at least one strike on the town of al-Janudiyah near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
“The numbers of the killed and injured are high because vacuum missiles fell in the main square,” Ali al-Hafawi, a spokesman from Ahrar a-Sham, one of the rebel groups controlling the town, told Syria Direct on Monday, adding that the toll was likely to rise as the recovery of bodies continues.
Shortly after the strike, the local “al-Janudiyah in the Heart” Facebook page posted the pictures and names of bombing victims.
Some of those killed and injured in the blast had sought refuge in the town earlier this year, fleeing the fighting as rebels battled for and took control of the strategic city of Jisr al-Shughour to the south, al-Hafawi said.
As the Victory Army rebel coalition is getting closer to its goal of controlling all of Idlib province, the regime has been stepping up air raids on the countryside and the provincial capital, captured last month from the regime.
Amidst these gains, regime planes have bombarded villages and towns across the northwest Syrian province in past months with barrel bombs, vacuum missiles, and even sea mines, with reports of chemical weapons circulating in opposition media.
Opposition media and activists characterize the attacks as a form of retaliation as regime forces are driven from Idlib province.
Photo courtesy of the Jisr al-Shughour Coordination Council