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Russian airstrikes hit Syrian rebel outpost near Turkey border

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Jets believed to be Russian hit an outpost run by moderate rebel forces in northwestern Syria near a major border crossing with Turkey, Reuters reported on Sunday.

According to rebel sources, at least one fighter was killed and several people were wounded after Russian jet raids overnight hit an outpost near Babeska, a village in Idlib province that has become a haven for several moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups, mainly Jaish al Islam.

Jaish al Islam is part of a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey at the end of last year. Rebels say Russia has failed to put pressure on the Syrian government to ensure the cease-fire holds.

The village also hosts hundreds of families and fighters from the Damascus suburb of Daraya, which was evacuated by rebels and surrendered to government control last year.

The airstrikes could mark the beginning of a Russian advance towards Idlib with the Syrian army from the south as the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) also recently have expressed the possibility of joining an Idlib operation.

Turkey considers the YPG Kurdish militia in northern Syria to be linked to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and deems the group a terrorist organization.

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