BEIRUT — Syrian government and Russian warplanes Saturday targeted the southern edge of Idlib province in what activists described as the most intense airstrikes in weeks, ratcheting up military pressure on the densely populated rebel-held bastion.

More than 60 air raids killed at least four civilians in southern Idlib, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and rescue workers. The bombings also included indiscriminate barrel bombs, dropped from choppers, invariably blamed on the government.

The bombings, including shelling from government areas, came a day after Iran and Russia backed a military campaign in the rebel-held area despite Turkey’s pleas for a cease-fire. Turkey has troops and 12 observation points that circle Idlib.

State-run Al-Ikhbariya TV said the government was retaliating against overnight shelling from rebel-held areas on a government-held town in Hama province, south of Idlib. The shelling late Friday in Mhradah killed nine civilians, according to state media. The state news agency SANA said government forces have shelled “terrorist” posts in northern Hama.

But the government and Russian raids targeted a wide swath of rebel-held area in the southern edge of the rebel-held enclave that includes most of Idlib province and northern Hama province. More than 3 million people live in the area, nearly half of them already displaced from fighting elsewhere in Syria.

The Observatory reported 68 air raids and 19 barrel bombs dropped Saturday on several towns and villages in southwestern Idlib and Hama province. The area targeted over the past few days overlooks government-controlled areas.

The Observatory described the attacks on the rebel-held areas as the “most intense” since August and said they killed four in Abdeen, west of Khan Sheikhoun town, including two children and a woman. The raids forced schools to close in Khan Sheikhoun, according to the Observatory.

The White Helmets, a team of first responders, also reported on the four people killed in Abdeen. A video posted from the town shows their rescuers pulling a woman who was still alive from under the rubble of a caked building, as other team members warn of government helicopters hovering above them.

The rescuers said another person was killed in Halba, a village farther north. The group said one of its already damaged centers had been hit in the wave of airstrikes.

In another village in central Idlib, Hass, a hospital was hit by the airstrikes, putting it out of service and injuring two of its staff members, according to volunteers.

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