The Syrian civil war intensified over this past weekend with heavy airstrikes by the Syrian government and its Russian ally against rebel areas. The strikes were in largely civilian areas, hitting homes and hospitals. We're joined now by NPR's Ruth Sherlock to talk about these airstrikes. She's following this from Beirut. Hi, Ruth.
RUTH SHERLOCK, BYLINE: Hello.
CHANG: I know you've been able to talk to some people already in these areas that have been under attack. What are they saying about the conditions there?
SHERLOCK: Well, they're saying that this is the most intense air campaign that's happened since the start of this year. And local activists are saying that in the north of the country, in the province of Idlib alone, there was over 150 airstrikes in the space of a few hours on...
SHERLOCK: ...Sunday night. Of course that's not an exact figure, but we can say that clearly there were heavy barrages of attacks on towns across the province. And the curious thing is that they hit areas far away from the front line — so in — kind of where civilians live. I spoke with Raed Fares, an activist who runs a local radio station in Kafranbel. That's a town where a hospital was hit. And it's a pretty bad phone line, but he's talking about those moments when he woke up to the sound of the bombs.
RAED FARES: They attacked the hospital four times. It's very close to us, so it was horrible to wake up on this sound. Everything was shaking.
SHERLOCK: So there he's saying that the hospital was hit with four different airstrikes on Sunday morning. And he sent me pictures of that hospital. It was entirely gutted and walls broken down. And he said that 15 other buildings were also hit in the town. And in another town nearby called Maarrat al-Nu'man, there was another hospital that was reportedly hit. Activists were posting videos of babies who were struggling for breath after they were ripped out of incubators to be evacuated. And there were also attacks in another area near Damascus that's rebel-held. It's an area under siege. And they said that there was estimates of at least 29 people killed from airstrikes there.
CHANG: Why are these attacks happening in these particular areas? I mean, how do they fit into the larger civil war?
SHERLOCK: Well, Idlib is 1 of 2 of the last major rebel enclaves in the country, and it's where pro-opposition families have fled to as the regime has made gains in other parts of the country. And it was seen as a kind of safe area. But in — since Christmas, the regime has been making a concerted effort to try to take this area back.
The kind of immediate cause was that opposition groups shot down a Russian fighter jet. And so the Russians have said that they responded with what they called precision air strikes. But there's also a wider context here, which is that the Russians had arranged peace talks in January that they hoped would move things forward. But the Syrian opposition boycotted those talks. And so analysts I've spoken to say, you know, this may be an attempt at sort of taking revenge on areas that are sympathetic to that opposition.
CHANG: And there are reports that these airstrikes are dropping chemical weapons. Is that really happening?
SHERLOCK: Yes, that's right. There are reports that in a town in Idlib province, again, called Saraqib, there were chlorine gas bombs that were dropped. A group called the Syrian American Medical Society said the 11 patients. And the White Helmet volunteer rescuers, this...
SHERLOCK: ...Rescue group that operates in the area, said that people had suffocating symptoms. And there's video showing people choking as they're hosed down with water to try to remove the effects of the gas.
CHANG: We've seen chemical weapons used in this war before, and it's been raised with the international community. What has been done? What is being done?
SHERLOCK: Well, today, Nikki Haley, the United States' ambassador to the U.N., raised this at the U.N. Security Council and expressed her frustration that not more is being done. She pointed the finger at Russia that has consistently vetoed any U.N. Security Council efforts to take action on this and indeed the joint investigative mechanism that was investigating these attacks — so a lot of frustration at the moment but no concerted plan of action.
CHANG: That's NPR's Ruth Sherlock from Beirut. Thanks, Ruth.
SHERLOCK: Thank you very much.
上周末，叙利亚内战冲突加剧，叙利亚政府及其盟友俄罗斯对反对派控制地区发动大规模空袭 。遭遇空袭的大部分是平民区，多座房屋和医院被击中 。现在我们连线NPR新闻的露丝·夏洛克，了解空袭的详细情况 。她在贝鲁特关注事态发展 。你好，露丝 。
夏洛克：他们说这是今年强度最大的空袭行动 。当地活动人士表示，仅叙利亚北部省份伊德利卜，在周日晚上的几个小时内就有150余起空袭 。
夏洛克：周日晚上 。当然这并不是准确数字，不过我们可以说，显然该省各城镇都遭遇了密集的猛烈攻击 。奇怪的是，他们在离前线很远的平民居住区发动了空袭 。我采访了瑞德·法尔斯，他是在贾法安贝运营地方广播电台的活动人士 。贾法安贝有一座医院在空袭中被击中 。电话线路非常不好，不过他谈到了他在爆炸声中醒来时的情况 。
瑞德·法尔斯：他们袭击了医院四次 。那所医院离我们非常近，在这种声音中醒来真是可怕 。一切都在晃动 。
夏洛克：他说那所医院在周日早上遭到了四次空袭 。他给我发来了医院的照片 。医院遇袭后已完全被烧毁，墙面也已破裂 。他说该城镇还有另外15座建筑被击中 。据报道，附近一座名为迈阿赖努阿曼的城镇也有一所医院遭到袭击 。活动人士发布的视频显示，婴儿被移出恒温箱以便撤离时在艰难呼吸 。大马士革附近另一个反对派控制地区也遭遇了空袭 。那个地区已被围困 。他们说据估计至少有29人在空袭中死亡 。
夏洛克：伊德利卜省是叙利亚境内最后两大反对派飞地中的一个，在叙利亚政府在其他地区取得进展时，亲反对派家庭纷纷逃往伊德利卜省 。这里被视为安全区域 。但是自圣诞节以来，叙利亚政府一直在共同努力，试图夺回这个地区 。
直接原因是反对派击落了一架俄罗斯战机 。因此，俄罗斯表示，他们用“精确的空中打击”进行了回应 。不过更广泛的背景是，俄罗斯在1月份时曾安排了和谈，他们希望能推动进程 。但是叙利亚反对派对和谈进行了抵制 。接受我采访的分析师表示，这可能是对支持反对派地区进行的报复行动 。
夏洛克：对，没错 。有报道称伊德利卜省萨拉凯卜镇被投放了氯气炸弹 。叙利亚美国医学协会表示，有11人接受治疗 。“白头盔”志愿者救援组织……
夏洛克：在该地区活动的“白头盔”志愿者救援组织表示，人们出现了窒息症状 。有视频显示，人们在试图用水冲掉该气体造成的影响时出现窒息 。
夏洛克：今天，美国驻联合国大使妮基·海利向联合国安理会提起化武问题，并表达了她的失望，因为国际社会没有采取更多行动 。她对俄罗斯进行了谴责，因为俄罗斯一直在否决联合国安理会就化武问题采取行动的努力，她还对调查这些袭击的联合调查机制进行了谴责，所以目前有很多挫折，但是没有协调一致的行动计划 。
张：以上是NPR新闻的露丝·夏洛克从贝鲁特带来的报道 。谢谢你，露丝 。
1. shoot down 击落(飞机、直升机、导弹等)；
例句：They claimed to have shot down one incoming missile.
2. be sympathetic to 赞同的；支持的；
例句：She met people in London who were sympathetic to the Indian freedom struggle.
3. hose down 用水管冲洗；
例句：In one driveway a chauffeur wearing rubber boots was hosing down a limousine.
4. point the finger at 指责；指控；
例句：Influential outsiders have already begun to point the finger at the vertiginous deterioration in Britain's public finances.