A YOUNG girl waits to be rescued by in the next to her dead little sister after Assad regime airstrikes demolished her home.
As she cowers in what remains of her family’s home, only the hand of her dead sister can be seen poking out of the rubble.
AFP or licensors The girl was rescued by the Syrian White Helmets
The girl was named as Aseel Qatran by the White Helmets rescuers, who said they spent two hours freeing her from the rubble.
Air strikes have been stepped up against rebel-held northwestern Syria, the last major bastion of opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
Thousands of civilians to flee the town of Khan Sheikhoun, near the Turkish frontier, war monitors said on Tuesday.
The area is under a ceasefire brokered last year by Assad’s main battlefield ally Russia, and Turkey, one of the main supporters of rebels who have fought to topple him for eight years.
Hundreds of thousands of people who fled other parts of Syria are sheltering in the enclave, protected by the truce which was aimed at averting an all-out government assault.
Rami Abdulrahman, the director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said government forces had intensified artillery shelling and air strikes, which have been ramping up over the past 10 days.
“The bombing is focused mainly on towns along the Damascus-Aleppo international road,” he said.
“Khan Sheikhoun has turned into a ghost town.”
The White Helmets rescue organisation that operates in opposition areas of Syria said five people were killed by shelling and air strikes on Tuesday, including three children.GHOST TOWN
According to a senior data analyst at Hala Systems, which operates an early warning system for aerial bombardment called Sentry, 13 strikes had been observed in Idlib and northern .
“This is the third straight day in which a significant increase in air strikes has been observed,” said an employee.
“The pace of attacks seems high and certainly unusual compared to the last few months.”
Syrian state media said insurgents had fired rockets at several towns in the northern part of Hama province, killing one civilian and wounding seven others in what it said was a violation of the ceasefire.
Under the agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey, the enclave in the northwest includes a demilitarised zone that must be kept free of all heavy weapons and jihadist fighters.
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Moscow has complained about escalating violence in Idlib and said that militants who used to belong to the Nusra Front, Syria’s former chapter of al Qaeda, are in control of large swathes of territory.
Syria’s conflict began in 2011 after Assad’s security forces used force to crush mass demonstrations against his rule.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict, which has drawn in world powers.
AFP or licensors A man weeps as he cradles the body of his dead daughter
AFP or licensors The father was in the town of Khan Sheikhoun when it was attacked
AFP or licensors Unable to contain his grief, he kissed the feet of his daughter as she was carried away
AFP or licensors His face was soaked in blood
AFP or licensors A wounded child is evacuated on a stretcher
AFP or licensors The White Helmets carrying out one of the wounded
AFP or licensors A man trapped underneath rubble waits to be rescued
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