At the very least 23 individuals, a lot of them civilians, have been killed in air strikes on a rebel-held metropolis in north-western Syria, activists say.
A number of multi-storey buildings in Idlib have been levelled within the daybreak assaults.
One report stated they included the HQ of the al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS).
It was not clear whether or not the air strikes have been carried out by Syria’s authorities, its ally Russia, or a US-led coalition that has additionally bombed JFS.
The Russian defence ministry was swift to disclaim any involvement, stressing that its warplanes had not carried out any strikes in Idlib to date this 12 months.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, reported on its web site that there have been a minimum of 10 air strikes in Idlib early on Tuesday.
It stated the districts of Amn al-Dawla, Amn al-Askari, al-Dabit and Wadi al-Nasim have been hit, in addition to the al-Jaraa roundabout, the Shuaib mosque and the municipal stadium. Sixteen civilians have been amongst 26 individuals killed, it added.
The Syria Civil Defence, whose first responders are often known as the White Helmets, put the demise toll at 23, and famous that individuals have been nonetheless looking out via the rubble of the destroyed buildings.
One picture posted on-line by the organisation confirmed the physique of a child boy discovered by rescuers; one other featured a younger lady who it stated was pulled out alive.
Later, the Syrian Observatory’s director, Rami Abdul Rahman, was quoted by the AFP information company as saying one of many buildings had been the headquarters of JFS.
The group, often known as al-Nusra Entrance till it broke off formal ties with al-Qaeda final July, controls Idlib and the encompassing province together with a number of insurgent factions.
The incident was one of many deadliest in Syria because the begin of a nationwide cessation of hostilities brokered by Russia and Turkey on 30 December.
The truce doesn’t embody JFS and the rival jihadist group, Islamic State (IS), that are each designated as terrorist organisations by the United Nations.
Final month, the US stated a strike involving a B-52 bomber and several other drones had killed greater than 100 militants at a JFS coaching camp in Idlib province.
Russian warplanes have additionally regularly focused various cities and villages within the space since September 2015, when Moscow intervened within the civil warfare.
Greater than 300,000 individuals have been killed and 11 million others displaced since an rebellion towards President Bashar al-Assad started nearly six years in the past.