Nearly 27,000 have fled Idlib in three days

Nearly 27,000 have fled Idlib in three days

Nearly 27,000 have fled Idlib in three days

Nearly 27,000 civilians have fled Syria’s northwestern region of Idlib to places near the Turkish border in the last three days, amid heightened bombardments by the Syrian regime and Russia, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 19.

The attacks of Bashar al-Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed terrorist groups in residential areas east and south of Aleppo province continue to displace thousands of Syrians.

Mohamed al-Hallaj, director of Syria's Response Coordinators Team, told Anadolu Agency that the civilians left their homes in Darat Izzah district and several towns, including Khan Tuman, Khan al-Asal, Kafr Naya, and al-Qasimia due to attacks supported by Russian air strikes.

Nevertheless, the Idlib tent camps fail to meet the needs of displaced Syrians because of the increased number of displaced persons. Officials say the camps have neither enough space to set up more tents nor the necessary infrastructure.

Displaced families are in urgent need of shelters, tents, blankets and beds.

Syrian and Russian forces have recently intensified their bombardment of targets in Idlib, which Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture, prompting a wave of refugees toward Turkey.

Reports show that the regime’s forces have been targeting hospitals, mosques and schools in a bid to prevent the return of Syrians to their hometowns.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

However, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

Turkey and Russia on Jan. 19 brokered a ceasefire agreement for Idlib. The countries agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

However, the Syrian regime’s warplanes on Jan. 15 struck several civilian settlements in the rebel-held Idlib, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens. Jan. 15’s violation is the first airstrike attack launched after the truce.

Two days after the attack, the Syrian regime and Iran-backed terror groups on Jan. 17 launched a ground offensive in Aleppo province which was designated as a de-escalation zone.

Regime forces and allied terrorist groups continue targeting residential areas and the Syrian opposition in the province's western and southern countryside with heavy shelling.

On Jan. 16, the same region was targeted by Russian warplanes.

The United Nations on Jan. 17 said that around 350,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled a renewed Russian-backed offensive in the opposition-held Idlib province since early December, and have sought shelter in border areas near Turkey.