BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
A Syrian search-and-rescue group says 21 civilians have been killed in two separate airstrikes on the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib.
The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, says 10 members of the same family were killed in an air raid Tuesday on the village of Baarbo, while 11 others were killed in a strike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven children and two pregnant women were killed in Khan Sheikhoun. The Observatory also said 21 civilians were killed between the two locations.
The Observatory and the Civil Defense blamed the strikes on government and Russian jets. Russia is a key military ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Turkey’s foreign minister says the United States has promised Ankara that U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces will only be involved in a siege of the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa but would not enter the city itself.
Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday he hopes the U.S. would keep that promise. However, he says Washington had also pledged earlier that Syrian Kurdish fighters would withdraw from the town of Manbij, which has not happened.
He says Turkey prefers that “local” Arab forces enter Raqqa, backed by U.S.-led coalition and possibly including Turkish ground troops.
The remarks reflect Ankara’s concerns over the expanding ground Kurdish fighters have gained in Syria as they battle IS militants. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia be a terror organization, saying it’s an extension of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdish rebels.
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