The recent upsurge in violence is the most serious in Idlib since Russia and Turkey negotiated a ceasefire in September [File: Reuters]

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies continue their air offensive on the country’s rebel-held northwest for a fifth consecutive day in a widening campaign, killing and wounding dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

After an overnight lull, government and Russian warplanes escalated bombings on Saturday hitting rebel areas in Idlib and the neighbouring province of Hama, aid workers in the area said. 

On Saturday, government forces were sending new reinforcements towards Idlib, including tanks, armoured personnel carriers and hundreds of troops.

The official SANA news agency said the army had destroyed “jihadist” positions in southern Idlib and nearby

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