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Airstrikes kill 79 civilians in Syria’s Deir ez-Zour

AIRSTRIKES KILL 79 CIVILIANS IN SYRIA’S DEIR EZ-ZOUR

At least 79 civilians have been killed within the last 48 hours as a result of ongoing airstrikes in Syria's Deir ez-Zour, a local activist said Friday.

According to Aahid Sileibi, an activist based in Deir ez-Zour, Russian and Syrian warplanes have continued to pound residential parts of the province.

"Russian warplanes have targeted convoys of people trying to cross the Euphrates River near Deir ez-Zour," Sileibi told Anadolu Agency.

According to the activist, 50 civilians have been killed in Deir ez-Zour's Al-Asharah and Hajin districts; 13 in the Al-Quriyah and Senen districts; 10 in the Abbas district; and six in the Sukeiri district.

In a recent report, the U.K.-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said at least 912 civilians -- including 200 children and 144 women -- had been killed countrywide last month alone.

In a related development Friday, Hajji Yousef, a member of Syria's White Helmets civil-defense force, said at least eight civilians had been killed by regime airstrikes in the Khan Sheikhun district of Idlib province.

Regime warplanes struck civilian areas with vacuum bombs, Yousef told Anadolu Agency, adding that emergency workers had pulled at least eight people out from under the rubble of flattened buildings.

According to Yousef, warplanes also attacked Idlib's southern village of Al-Hilba, killing at least one civilian.

Home to 2.5 million people, the northwestern Idlib province is covered by one of four de-escalation zones -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited -- recently set up across war-torn Syria.

Idlib city is located only 62 kilometers south of Reyhanli, a populous district of Turkey's southern Hatay province.

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