The military has stepped up shelling in the rebel-held northwest since President al-Assad was sworn in to a new term last week.
Syrian government artillery shells struck a village in the country’s last rebel enclave on Thursday, killing seven family members, including four children, rescue workers and a war monitor said.
The bombing is part of an ongoing military escalation in the region of northwestern Syria, which has been the subject of a Russian-Turkish-sponsored ceasefire since last year.
So far, it is unclear what caused the escalation, which before the attack had already killed at least 17 children this month, according to figures confirmed by the UN agency for the childhood, UNICEF.
Rescuers from opposition areas, known as the White Helmets, said the shells landed in the village of Ibleen, in southern Idlib province.
A mother and her four children were among the dead who emerged from the rubble of a destroyed house. Seven other people were injured, the group said.
Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the children’s grandfather and uncle were also among the victims. He said the father was injured in the attack.
According to Observatory records, 21 people, including 11 children and six women, have been killed in government attacks on the rebel enclave since Saturday.
The army stepped up its bombardments of the northwestern enclave when President Bashar al-Assad took an oath for a new mandate vowing to make “the liberation of parts of the homeland which still have to be” one of its main priorities.
On the day Assad was sworn in, attacks on the Idlib villages of Sarja and Ehsin killed 14 civilians, including seven children.
Two days earlier, shelling of Idlib and the northern town of Fuaa killed nine civilians, including three children, the Observatory said.
Thursday’s attack came on the last day of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The Syrian government, which accepted the truce negotiated between Russia and Turkey last year, has pledged to restore control of the territory it lost during the 10 years of conflict.
The March 2020 truce, covering the area housing nearly 4 million mostly displaced people, was negotiated between Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition and has deployed troops to the region, and Russia, the main supporter of the Syrian Arab Republic. Syrian government.
At the time, he ended an overwhelming Russian-backed government air and ground campaign to recapture the region.
Elsewhere in the country, Kurdish-led forces control much of the east after expelling the ISIL group (ISIS) from the region.