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Air Strikes Hit Medical Facility In Rebel-Held Area In Syria

Syrian activists say suspected Syrian government warplanes have carried out a series of air strikes against rebel-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least six people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes on May 13 targeted the provincial capital, Idlib, as well as the town of Ariha, where they hit a medical facility.

Both cities are controlled mainly by Al-Qaeda's Syria branch, the Al-Nusra Front, and allied Islamic militants.

The monitoring group said at least 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the air strikes. However, a local activist put the death toll at six.

Syrian state media reported that government warplanes struck Al-Qaeda strongholds in Idlib Province and Hama, killing more than 30 militants.

The strikes came amid a stepped-up air campaign in central and northern Syria a day after Islamic militants seized an Alawite village.

Activists and state media said the militants killed 19 civilians, including six women, in the central village of Zaara.

Zaara is mostly inhabited by Alawites, a sect to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP