BEIRUT/GENEVA – A Syrian or Russian air strike reportedly killed a dozen people at a market in northwestern Syria on Monday, straining a cessation of hostilities agreement meant to pave the way for peace talks.
In a further upsurge in violence, al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other Islamist insurgents not included in the US-Russian agreement attacked government forces in a neighboring province, a monitoring group said. The death toll from the air strike on a market selling diesel in rebel-held Idlib province was likely to rise, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that it did not know whether the Syrian government or its Russian ally was responsible. Riad Hijab, chairman of the opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said “tens” of people had been killed in what he described as a massacre. There was no word from the Syrian government, which has said it is respecting the agreement.