A view of a hole after an airstrike, allegedly carried out by Syrian forces warplanes targeted a school inhabited by displaced people in the rebel-held Idlib province. Photo: Anas Alkharboutli/dpa (Photo by Anas Alkharboutli/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Nine children were among the at least 20 people who were killed in an attack by the Syrian Army in the Idlib region on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

The attack spanned across the region: A student, three teachers, and two other individuals were killed in Idlib city; six students and four others were killed in Maarat Misrin; and four more people were killed in Binnish, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the BBC.

According to Reuters, Turkey-backed rebel fighters recaptured the town of Nairab from the Russian-backed Syrian army and are moving to capture Saraqeb. The town is strategic because its where the M5 highway, which links Damascus and Aleppo, meets the road west to the Mediterranean.

"With the help of our Turkish friends, we have regained control of the strategic town of Nairab, the gateway of Saraqeb, after expelling the terrorist Russian militias," said Yusef Hamoud, spokesman for the Turkish-backed National Army told Reuters.

Idlib is the only major territory in the country still controlled by rebels and jihadists, the BBC reported.

According to NPR, half of the three million people living in the region are refugees from other parts of war-torn Syria. The country has been in a civil war since 2011.

The BBC also said that airstrikes and ground attacks were carried out on 10 schools and the Idlib Center Hospital. Two of the 10 schools were nurseries.

Robert Ford, the former ambassador to Syria, told NPR that attacks in Idlib are getting worse.

Before the shelling, the region was already battling a horrifying humanitarian crisis. According to NPR, most of the displaced in the region are women and children. Overcrowding has forced many to sleep outdoors even as the temperatures drop below freezing.

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