More than 40 dead after airstrikes hit rebel region in Syria

June 8 (UPI) — More than 40 people were killed Friday in repeated military airstrikes that targeted rebels in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on Zardana overnight Thursday involved a “double tap,” meaning the military jets returned to bomb the same area after first responders and medical personnel arrived.

At least 11 women and six children were reported killed in the attack.

SOHR said more than 60 others were injured early Friday, not long after Muslims broke their Ramadan fast.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the strikes. SOHR said the airstrikes may have been carried out by Russian warplanes. Russia is perhaps the most significant ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian fighter jets have been helping Assad’s regime fight terrorists in the country.

Moscow denied responsibility for the strikes.

“All the reports of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and While Helmets that a Russian plane allegedly delivered an airstrike on June 7 in the area of the community of Zardana in the province of Idlib have nothing to do with reality,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“There was fierce fighting in the past 24 hours in the district of the province of Idlib between a large formation of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization and the Jaysh al-Ahrar irreconcilable opposition grouping with the use of heavy artillery guns.”

Idlib province remains the opposition’s last major stronghold in Syria since the civil war started in 2011.