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PARIS (Reuters) - France on Thursday condemned bombings by Syrian government forces and its allies against civilian populations in Idlib and Hama province, and called on Russia to abide by commitments it had made to de-escalate violence in the area.

"These acts violate international humanitarian law," foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in a statement.

"France calls on Russia and the allies of the Damascus regime to respect the commitments made in Astana and to prevent these air strikes from continuing," she added.

The Russian Defence Ministry on Thursday denied allegations that Russian and Syrian jets had killed at least 150 civilians in over a week of bombing, saying it had been careful not to hit civilians.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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