Syrian air strkies have killed more than a dozen people in the rebel-held Idlib province.

Syrian or Russian air strikes have killed more than a dozen people and severely damaged a hospital in and around a town in rebel-held Idlib province, local medical workers and a monitoring group say.

The attacks came as Syria’s air force and Russian jets intensified their bombardment of Idlib, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Idlib is an insurgent stronghold, one of the few large areas still under rebel control in the west of the country. Rebels and their families who have chosen to leave areas under government siege around Damascus in evacuation deals have headed for Idlib.

A spokesman at the hospital in Kafr Takharim in Idlib told Reuters an air strike hit its courtyard killing 14 people, including patients.

The Observatory said there were no deaths from the hospital strike, but that the bombardment had put it out of action.

Separate air strikes southwest of Kafr Takharim killed at least 12 people including civilians and rebel fighters, the Observatory said.

Meanwhile, 18 Kurdish YPG fighters and media officials were killed in Turkish air strikes on a headquarters of the militia in northeastern Syria, the British- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says.

The YPG, a US ally in the fight against Islamic State, did not immediately give its own precise death toll.

Turkey’s military bombed the YPG and Kurdish militants in neighbouring Iraq early on Tuesday, widening a campaign against groups affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

At least 18 YPG fighters and media officials were killed in Tuesday’s air raids, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported. There was no immediate casualty report from the YPG.

The Turkish military said the two regions it struck had become ‘terror hubs’ and the aim of the bombardment was to prevent the PKK from sending weapons and explosives for attacks inside Turkey.

‘To destroy these terror hubs which threaten the security, unity and integrity of our country and our nation and as part of our rights based on international law, air strikes have been carried out … and terrorist targets have been struck with success,’ the Turkish army said in a statement.

The YPG said in a statement its headquarters in Mount Karachok near Syria’s frontier with Turkey had been hit, including a media centre, a local radio station, communications facilities and military institutions.

Turkey has regularly bombed the mountainous border area between Iraq and Turkey where PKK militants are based since a ceasefire broke down in July 2015. But Tuesday’s raid was the first time they have targeted its affiliate in the Sinjar area, a separate group to the YPG.

The PKK established a presence in Sinjar after coming to the aid of its Yazidi population when Islamic State militants overran the area in the summer of 2014 and killed and captured thousands of Yazidis.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will not allow Sinjar, around 115km from the Turkish border, to become a ‘new Qandil’, referring to a PKK stronghold near the borders of Turkey, Iraq and Iran.