Air strikes blow up fuel trucks at Aleppo-Idlib checkpoint

  Idlib Civil Defense team battles fuel truck fire caused by Monday’s airstrikes. Photo courtesy of Civil Defense Idlib Facebook page.

A plane conducted six air strikes on a checkpoint between Aleppo and Idlib provinces, destroying several trucks and killing up to 10 people in what a local journalist called on Tuesday the “most violent” attack on the road to date.

“This is the fourth time the road was targeted, but it was the most violent,” Alam al-Deen al-Sayekh, a local citizen journalist, told Syria Direct.

The trucks had been sitting for 10 days on the Idlib side of the border, waiting to cross into Aleppo province to deliver fuel and oil to rebel-held areas in the city of Darat Azza in northern Aleppo when the plane of unknown provenance conducted the strikes. Opposition media reported the plane to be Russian, a claim Syria Direct could not confirm.

Truck drivers wait at the Turmanine checkpoint, located on the border of Idlib province, generally wait for “a week, 10 days, or more,” al-Sayekh said, until they can head into Aleppo province.

Shortly after the Civil Defense arrived at the scene and began their rescue work, the “same plane” struck another part of the checkpoint, Mateea Jalal, an Idlib Civil Defense spokesman, told Syria Direct on Tuesday. “The team left the first area and went to the second along with ambulances to extinguish the fire, and then the plane returned and bombed the [first responders] twice.” Three Civil Defense members were injured and two killed in those attacks, Jalal said.

“The blood of innocent people fills this place and no one is stopping” this, the Idlib Civil Defense posted on its Facebook page Monday. 

Mohammed Al-Haj Ali

Mohammed Al-Haj Ali, originally from Daraa, had completed his first year studying Broadcast Journalism at Damascus University before leaving Syria in August 2012.

Jessica Page, Reporter/Translator

Jessica was a 2013-2014 Georgetown University Qatar Scholarship Program fellow in Doha, Qatar. She received her BA in both Arabic and International & Area Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked and studied in Jordan, Oman, and Qatar.

Kristen Demilio

Kristen Gillespie Demilio has more than 10 years of experience reporting from the Middle East while based in Amman. She regularly contributed to news outlets including CBS News Radio, NPR, The Jerusalem Report and PBS and is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism as well as the Institut Français des Etudes Arabes in Damascus.