Some 25,000 people fled Idlib toward Turkish border
At least 25,000 civilians have fled Syria’s northwestern region of Idlib to places near the Turkish border amid heightened bombardments by the Syrian regime and Russia, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Dec. 22.
Mohamed al-Hallaj, director of the Response Coordinators Team, told Anadolu Agency that the regime, Russia, and Iranian-backed foreign terror groups have struck civilian settlements, leaving at least 25,000 displaced.
Hallaj added that the exact number of displaced persons remains unknown due to the “continuous” air and ground attacks, yet the organization detected 25,000 people fleeing from their homes in the past two days.
The director also conveyed that civilians are mainly fleeing from residential areas in southern Idlib and especially from the rural areas of opposition-held city of Maarat al Numan.
Displaced families are in urgent need of shelters, tents, blankets and beds.
Regime forces have captured some 15 villages during the ground attacks regime forces have launched in Maarat al Numan.
The air attacks Russian fighter jets launched on Dec. 22 claimed five civilian lives in the de-escalation zone in Idlib.
Syrian opposition aircraft monitors said Russian warplanes struck the city of Maarat al Numan and the towns of Talmenes, Alteh and Aldier Alsharki.
Sources with the White Helmets civil defense agency said three people were killed in Talmenes and two in Aldier Alsharki from the attacks.
205,000 civilians displaced since November
According to the figures Hallaj provided, some 205,000 civilians have fled their homes since early November because of the intensified attacks in the de-escalation zone.
Hallaj said that regime forces, accompanied by Russia, target hospitals, schools, mosques, civil defense centers and settlements to “prevent the return of civilians.”
According to the local administration, Idlib is home to some 2.4 million locals and 1.3 million internally displaced persons. If aggression by the regime and its allies continues, both Turkey and the European continent face the risk of another refugee influx.
Since Moscow and Ankara reached a deal in September 2018 under which acts of aggression in Idlib are supposed to be prohibited, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following these intense attacks.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.