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Syria activists report intense Russian and government airstrikes in Homs, 4 civilians killed

  • A Syrian who lives in Lebanon holds a photo of Syrian President Bashar Assad, during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    A Syrian who lives in Lebanon holds a photo of Syrian President Bashar Assad, during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrians who lives in Lebanon hold posters with photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, with Arabic that reads "Lions of the time," during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Syrians who lives in Lebanon hold posters with photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, with Arabic that reads "Lions of the time," during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrians who live in Lebanon hold photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

    Syrians who live in Lebanon hold photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, during a rally to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria, in front of the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say Russian and Syrian warplanes are pounding targets in central and northern Syria amid reports of civilian casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian Revolution in central Homs town of Tabliseh, an activist-operated media platform, said warplanes believed to be Russian targeted mourners in al-Ghanto village who were burying people killed a day earlier, killing four civilians. The activists said several villages in the rural areas north of Homs were pounded with airstrikes, including government helicopters dropping barrel bombs.

The state-news agency SANA reported army troops began a ground offensive in the area. Meanwhile, the Observatory and the monitoring group the Local Coordination Committees said intense clashes were reported in Wadihi, a village the government took control of in an offensive in southern Aleppo.