At least 49 people, including six children, are said to have died today (8 June) when an air raid allegedly by forces loyal to Syrian President Assad devastated a busy market place in the town of Janudiyah in the northwest Idlib province. Dozens more have been hospitalised, many of them in a critical condition.
A video posted on social media (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) shows complete devastation in the town, with women and children crying and screaming, body parts strewn across the street and buildings and vehicles damaged and destroyed.
According to Al Jazeera one man screams "my son was killed!" and another shouts "We need cars!" Al Jazeera says the claims about the attack tally with reports by independent news sources including AP. Some local sources put the death toll at 60.
Many of those in the town are refugees from other areas of Syria, and the town is said to be controlled by a rebel alliance including the Nusra Front after formerly being held by the Syrian opposition. A rebel alliance seized the provincial capital of Idlib in March.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) today's attack in Janudiyah comes after at least 100 civilians, including women and children, were killed by pro-government forces across Syria in the last few days.
SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman says of the attack in Janudiyah: "It's a public square, and a lot of people gather there because there are shops."
Across Syria an estimated 734 civilians were killed in May including 148 children and 113 women. Overall the Syrian civil war has cost an estimated 191.000 lives since the conflict began in 2011.
President Assad is thought to be increasingly desperate and has enlisted Iranian forces to help him keep his grip on power. However forces loyal to the Syrian President have lost control of a number of important cities recently including the historical site of Palmyra.
Reuters is reporting this evening that a resolution may be possible in Syria if Assad steps down, though it is not known if that is likely in the near future.