Airstrike Hits Busy Market in Opposition-Held Northwestern Syria and Kills at Least 9 People

JISR AL-SHUGHUR, Syria (AP) -- An airstrike early Sunday over a busy vegetable market in northwestern Syria killed at least nine people, activists and local first responders said.

Activists and Britain-based opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Russia, a top ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, launched the strike over the strategic opposition-held town of Jisr al-Shughur near the Turkish border.

The strike comes a day after Moscow's top mercenary group briefly revolted against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Opposition-held northwestern Syria's civil defense organization known as the White Helmets said over 30 people were wounded, and expected the death toll to increase.

"We're hearing that the critically wounded have been dying after reaching the hospital," Ahmad Yaziji of the White Helmets told The Associated Press. "It was a targeted attack in the main vegetable market where farmers from around northern Syria gather."

Farmers rushed the wounded to the hospital in bloodied vegetable trucks, while activists shared urgent calls for blood donations.

Neither Syria nor Russia commented on the airstrike, though Damascus says strikes in the northwest province target armed insurgent groups.

Northwestern Syria is mostly held by the militant group Hayat Tahrir al Sham, as well as Turkish-backed forces.