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Syrian Airstrike Hits Marketplace Near Turkish Border, Killing More Than Two Dozen

Searchers look for survivors after an airstrike on the town of Harim in northwestern Idlib province in Syria.
Aaref Watad
AFP/Getty Images
Searchers look for survivors after an airstrike on the town of Harim in northwestern Idlib province in Syria.

Warplanes struck a busy marketplace in a rebel-controlled area of northwestern Syria near the border with Turkey. Many children are reported to be among the dead.

As NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports,

"A video [was] filmed in the Syrian town of Harim seconds after the airstrike hit. A plume of smoke rises and children's crying fills the air. Residents say the payload hit a busy market, and rescuers count at least 36 people dead — 12 children among them.

"Photos sent to NPR by a resident there show many burned corpses on stretchers. In one, three toddlers lie motionless and blooded on a blanket on the floor.

"This town in the northern province of Idlib has been a destination for Syrians fleeing violence in other parts of the country. Rebels and their families today evacuated to this province from Eastern Ghouta near the capital Damascus."

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of Syrian rebels and their families departed Eastern Ghouta in dozens of white buses en route to Idlib. The evacuations have been part of a deal with the government in which the rebels surrender ground in order to be allowed to flee.

The number of casualties in Idlib varies in the preliminary reports of the incident.

In a tweet, the rescue organization White Helmets reports the number of dead at 35 civilians and more than 50 injured.

Another tweet shows rescuers pulling an unidentified man out of the bombed rubble. It reports that Russian aircraft targeted the town of Harim. That claim could not be independently confirmed.

Earlier this week, Syrian rebels fired rockets from eastern Ghouta into a government-controlled neighborhood of Damascus, killing 35 and wounding 20 more, the Associated Press reported citing Syrian state-run media.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.