Local sources have told Al Jazeera that air strikes on two markets in north-west Syria have killed more than 50 people. The air strikes came at the same time as Syria’s opposition negotiators said they were leaving peace talks being held in Geneva.
The strikes were among the deadliest since a ceasefire took effect in Syria at the end of February.
The opposition’s Higher Negotiations Committee (HNC) announced its delegation was leaving Geneva because no advances were being made in the talks, after earlier warnings that the delegation would leave if the attacks on rebel-held towns did not stop.
It was not clear if Tuesday’s air strikes were carried out by Syrian or Russian war planes that have been deployed to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Rescue workers reported that more than 40 people were killed in the town of Maarat al-Numan, in the rebel stronghold of Idlib province. Another 10 people were killed in an air strike on a market in the nearby town of Kafr Nubl.
According to Al Jazeera, the deaths from the latest strike included five children.
Ahmad Sheikho, a member of the civil defence corps, a rescue service operating in opposition-held territory told Al Jazeera: “We have more than 20 cars that have been moving dead and injured to hospitals in the area. The air strike at the central vegetable market in (Maarat al-Numan) was around noon. Another strike at the same time hit Kafr Nubl’s own market.”
The air strikes and subsequent walk out by the opposition groups from the peace talks, effectively bring an end to the cease fire and any hopes of peace for Syria at this time.
- Pray for Syria, as any immediate hope of peace fades away and the Syrian people cope with yet more violence and death. Pray for God’s intervention in this nation, for healing, restoration of hope for the future, and peace.
- Pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones from these latest air strikes. Pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to surround them as they grieve.
- Pray for Christians in Syria to have the courage to share their faith with their communities, and that many will come to know Jesus, His healing grace and love.
Isaiah 51 vs 5: “My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.”