Syria airstrikes kill 10 in rebel-held Idlib despite truce
A ceasefire supposedly went into effect on Jan. 12, according to Turkey’s Defense Ministry. But Russia’s Defense Ministry said the truce went into effect on Jan. 9, without giving an explanation for the differing dates
According to information from a Syrian opposition aircraft observatory, Russian warplanes struck Idlib’s Ma’arrat al-Numan, Kafr Rumah, Tal Mannis, Deir Sharqi, Maasaran and Maar Shurin countryside settlements and districts, while regime forces launched attacks on central Idlib and Eriha.
Initial reports showed seven civilians have been injured during the attack in Eriha’s marketplace.
Turkey and Russia last week 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.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to some four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the ceasefire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone, killing at least 1,300 civilians since the agreement.
Jan. 15’s violation is the first airstrike attack launched after the truce.
Idlib is dominated by many armed oppositional groups. It is the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria and has been experiencing the most intense attacks.
The United Nations has warned of the growing risk of a humanitarian catastrophe as people flee the fighting toward the Turkish border.
Syrian regime and Russian forces have been intensifying their attacks in Idlib since November 2019, driving hundreds and thousands of civilians to live in tent cities near the Turkish border.
Turkey, already the top country in the world on hosting refugees, faces another possible migration influx from Idlib.