Air raids by Syrian army and Russian ally kill at least 11, including three children and White Helmets volunteer.

Air strikes have killed at least 11 people in rebel-held northwestern Syria on Sunday, according to rescue workers and a war monitor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that Syrian government air strikes killed six people, including a child, in the village of Urum al-Jawz in western Idlib province while four others, including two children were killed in raids on Kfarouma in the south of the province.

qatar airways

A Russian air strike killed a civil defence volunteer with the White Helmets and citizen journalist identified as Anas al-Dyab in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, it added.

The group, whose name derives from the distinctive hard hats that its members wear, said it “mourns the fall of a hero … a volunteer and media activist with the Civil Defence Centre in Idlib,” in a Twitter post.

An AFP news agency journalist saw friends and family gather to bid farewell to Dyab, his body wrapped in a white shroud.

His mother and father, fellow citizen journalists, and rescue workers watched him be buried in the city of Idlib, as ongoing bombardment prevented him from being laid to rest in his hometown of Khan Sheikhun.

President Bashar al-Assad‘s government and Russia have stepped up their deadly bombardment of Idlib since late April, despite a September buffer zone deal to protect the region of some three million people from a massive military assault.

The SOHR said Sunday’s deaths increased the number of civilians killed by Syrian government or Russian bombardments in the northwest to 682 since the offensive began.

It said 53 civilians had been killed by rebel attacks on state-held areas in the same period.

Some 1,500 combatants on both sides have been killed in the same period, it said.

Syrian government struggles to make gains in Idlib