In Syria, a crashed Russian helicopter

REUTERS

REUTERS

Another six people were killed in Arbin area of Eastern Ghouta Wednesday night, said the White Helmets adding that three more civilians, including two children, were also killed by regime airstrikes in Beyt Sava area.

On Wednesday air strikes hit a maternity hospital in Idlib's Ma'arat al-Nu'man city, killing five people, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) charity, which supports the hospital, said. The attack also damaged a Syrian MiG-25 "that was likely already out of commission", according to STRATFOR.

Food is scarce and about 650 people need urgent medical care, but with medicine rationed many are dying.

Russian Federation has rejected claims their jets are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians since the country began its intervention in the Syria civil war, saying that they are are only targeting hardline Islamists.

Assad forces have been bombing Eastern Ghouta since November 14.

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Elsewhere, there have been reports that at least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria on 31 December.

"On December 31, 2017, at nightfall, the Hmeymim airfield came under a sudden mortar fire from a mobile militant subversive group. The Russian air group in Syria is combat-ready and continues to fulfill all tasks of its intended objective in full", the ministry added.

With four fatalities this is one of the deadliest single days for the Russian army in Syria since it entered the conflict and brings the total number of officially reported losses to 44.

The Observatory, a war monitor based in Britain, said 11 women and a child were among the dead in the strikes in Misraba, which it said were carried out by Russian planes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Syria last month where he ordered the start of a pullout of Russian troops, saying their task in the war-torn country had been largely completed.

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