Four civilians were killed Thursday in a government-controlled sector of western Syria in drone strikes by a Syrian rebel group, a non-governmental organization said.

“Four civilians were killed and four others wounded in drone strikes in Hama province launched by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS),” al-Qaeda’s former arm in Syria, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel told AFP. Rahman.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency earlier reported that three people were killed and three others wounded in the sector due to “terrorist” drone attacks on the sector, citing a Syrian police source.

“Terrorist” organizations also fired rockets at populated areas in the same province, according to the official news agency.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense said that the armed forces “managed to destroy and shoot down eight drones loaded with explosives in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo, which were targeting civilians.”

The HTS is the strongest rebel organization operating in northwestern Syria, where other, less powerful armed groups are also present, supported to a greater or lesser extent by Turkey.

Tensions between these organizations and the forces of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Moscow, its main ally, rose sharply after a drone attack on an officer promotion ceremony in Homs (central Syria) earlier this month killed more than 100 dead.

Damascus blamed “armed terrorist organizations” for it, although there was no claim of responsibility.

On Tuesday, six civilians were killed in Russian airstrikes that hit a camp for internally displaced people in rebel-held areas in the country’s northwest, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based NGO that relies on a wide network of sources in the war-torn country.

A few days earlier, six children were killed in Syrian army shelling that hit their home in the northwestern part of the country, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attack on the Homs military school is among the deadliest against the army during the war that broke out in 2011, triggered by a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests.

The highly complex war in Syria has claimed the lives of over half a million people and turned millions more into internally displaced persons and refugees.