Nineteen people were killed in airstrikes in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, the Aleppo Media Center activist group said, as government forces kept pounding the neighboring city of Aleppo to try to retake it from rebels.
Fifteen were killed in the village of Kafr Nabl, in Idlib’s southern countryside, the group said, while separate strikes killed another four people in the village of Maarat al-Numan.
Strikes on eastern Aleppo are supporting a ground offensive there. The violence has caused more than 25,000 civilians to flee.
Government troops have made sweeping territorial gains in eastern Aleppo since entering on November 26, taking all of the zone’s northeast.
The Syrian government claimed that “security and stability” had been restored in the northeast, calling on residents to return, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said.
A member of the Syrian military told CNN in Aleppo that approximately 1,500 people have returned to Hanano, the area’s biggest district now under government control in the area.
International leaders are scrambling to find a political solution to Syria’s brutal war that has raged for more than five years.