At least 16 civilians were killed when rockets struck an internally displaced persons camp, in the village of Qah in Syria’s Idlib province on Wednesday, according to the volunteer rescue group known as the White Helmets, CNN reported.
The camp was targeted by a missile loaded with cluster munitions, the White Helmets said. The attack also “led to a huge fire that burned many tents and caused huge material damage,” the group said.
“I saw a lot of dead bodies, mostly children… I saw tents burning…most people, thousands, ran away of the camp after the strike,” said one Syrian eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous due to safety reasons.
Idlib, near the Turkish-Syrian border, is the last opposition-held territory in Syria. It is home to more than 3 million Syrians including a dense population of internally displaced persons. The area is dominated by Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, the once Al Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra, CNN adds.
The Syrian government and its Russian backers routinely target southern Idlib. However, the latest rocket attacks near the Turkey-Syria border, where majority of displaced people live, could signal a significant escalation. The Syrian government in the past has said they are targeting terrorists in Idlib. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.