U.N. decries barrel bomb assault in rebel-held northwest Syria

GENEVA (Reuters) - Schools, health facilities and residential areas have been hit by the worst barrel bombing campaign in rebel-held northwestern Syria in 15 months, the United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator Panos Moumtzis told Reuters on Thursday.

Russian and Syrian forces intensified air strikes and shelling in the northwestern region overnight in the heaviest assault since it was declared a demilitarised zone under a Russian-Turkish deal, sources said earlier.

“We have information that educational facilities, health facilities and residential areas are being bombed by helicopters and planes,” Moumtzis told Reuters in Geneva. “The barrel bombing is the worst we have seen for at least 15 months.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Gareth Jones