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Suspected Russian Air Strikes Kill Dozens In Syria

Suspected Russian air strikes in a rebel-held region in Syria have killed at least 44 people overnight, a war monitoring group says.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine children were among those killed when air strikes hit the area of Zardana in the northwestern Idlib Province late on June 7.

"Warplanes, which are likely Russian, targeted the village of Zardana in northern rural Idlib overnight," Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the Britain-based war monitor, said.

The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed the group's comments, saying they have "nothing to do with reality," the Russian state-run TASS news agency reported.

The attack was the deadliest in the region this year.

The death toll was expected to increase as some of the 60 people wounded in the strikes were in critical condition, he said.

Rescue workers were still searching under the rubble for survivors.

Idlib remains the last major bastion of resistance to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran.

Russia has conducted a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping reverse the course of the seven-year civil war in Assad's favor.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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