Middle east

Russian airstrikes kill 9 civilians in Idlib


At least nine civilians in Idlib city, Syria were killed when Russian fighter jets launched airstrikes, sources with civil defense groups said late Monday.

Russian warplanes carried out a number of attacks in Idlib on frontlines and some civilian settlements, including Fua village.

According to the civil defense sources, initial reports suggested that nine civilians were killed and many others wounded.

In July 2018, Assad forces reached a compromise with armed anti-regime groups under which residents and regime troops were evacuated from Fua and Kfraya villages in exchange for the Bashar al-Assad regime’s release of thousands of civilians held in various camps.

Some of the freed civilians were later permitted to enter Idlib city, where they settled.

Idlib is currently home to four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.

In recent months, nearly 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks by forces of the Assad regime and its allies.

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

But since then, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in airstrikes and shelling by the regime and its allies.

On Sunday, Turkey announced a new offensive, Operation Spring Shield, in northwestern Syria to protect civilians from regime attacks.

It came after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens injured in an Assad regime airstrike in the de-escalation zone on Feb. 27.

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