Military has increased the bombing of the northwestern northwestern countries since President al-Assad was sworn in for a new term last week.
Syrian government artillery shells hit a village in the country’s last rebel enclave on Thursday, killing seven members of the same family, including four children, rescue workers and a war monitor said.
The shelling is part of a continuing military escalation in the area in northwestern Syria, which has been sponsored since last year under a ceasefire sponsored by Russia and Turkey.
So far, it is unclear what caused the escalation, which killed at least 17 children before the attack this month, according to figures confirmed by the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
The rescue workers in opposition areas, known as the White Helmets, said the shells ended up in the village of Ibleen in the south of Idlib province.
A mother and her four children were among the dead who were pulled out from under the rubble of a ruined house. Seven other people were injured, according to the group.
Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Britain, said the children’s grandparents were also among the dead. He said the father was injured in the attack.
According to observations by the Observatory, 21 people, including 11 children and six women, have been killed in attacks on the rebels since Saturday.
The army intensified its bombardment of the northwestern enclave when President Bashar al-Assad took the oath of office for a new term that promised to make “the liberation of the parts of the fatherland that have yet to be” one of its top priorities.
On the day that Assad took the oath, 14 civilians, including seven children, were killed by attacks on the Idlib villages of Sarja and Ehsin.
Two days earlier, nine civilians, including three children, had been shot dead in Idlib and the city of Fuaa further north, the Observatory said.
The attack on Thursday took place on the last day of the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday.
The Syrian government, which last year agreed to a negotiated ceasefire between Russia and Turkey, has vowed to restore control of the territory it lost during the 10-year conflict.
The ceasefire in March 2020, which covers the area where nearly 4 million people are mostly displaced, was negotiated between Turkey, which supports Syria’s opposition and deployed troops in the area, and Russia, the Syrian government’s mainstay.
At the time, it halted a crushing Russian-backed air and ground campaign to retake the region.
Elsewhere in the country, Kurdish forces control much of the east after expelling the ISIL (ISIS) group from the region.