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Woman, 3 kids dead in Syria building collapse as aid groups warn a humanitarian crisis in Idlib

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DAMASCUS: A woman with her three children died as a building collapsed in northwest Syrian town of Idlib, while her husband and three other children survived.

The Opposition Syrian Civil Defence group said that collapse of the building night on the southern edge of the city of Idlib came as northwest Syria has been witnessing weeks of rain and snow.

The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, said rescue operations in the two-story building lasted about four hours. 

The cause of the collapse is unknown but the house was previously bombed and also heavily damaged due to rain fall.

The mother and one of her children were already dead when rescuers pulled them out, while two children succumbed to their wounds shortly afterward, the civil defence said.

Later at night, the father and three other children were extracted alive and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Idlib province is the last rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria, and is home to about 3 million people, many of them internally displaced.

Syria’s conflict that began in March 2011 has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

Meanwhile Syrian rescue group and an alliance of non-governmental organisations gathered in Istanbul on Friday e the escalation of violence in the Idlib province of north western Syria.

Speaking in Istanbul, the chairman of the White Helmets volunteer rescue group, Raed al Saleh, said a catastrophic humanitarian crisis is imminent.

He said international pressure on Russia was urgently needed to stop the Syrian regime’s “barbaric campaign”, which has already displaced some 300,000 people, according to the rescue group.

Another speaker, Dr Zahed al Masri, representing health workers, warned this could lead to a new refugee crisis that would affect Turkey and the European Union.

The Syrian NGO Alliance appealed to the United Nations Security Council to stop the escalation.

On Friday, the head of Turkish Red Crescent, also know as Kizilay, Kerem Kinik pointed to the widespread destructive impact of the violence on its more than 2.5 million residents of Idlib, saying he is worried over its humanitarian outcome of the violence.

He said in the past month alone, at least 160 people have been killed, thousands injured and nearly 300,000 displaced.

Fighting has raged in Idlib and surrounding areas since April 30, when Syrian regime forces supported by airstrikes entered the overcrowded enclave.

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