Assad regime carries out attacks on Idlib despite Sochi deal

Published 05.12.2018 00:00
Updated 05.12.2018 08:00

The Bashar Assad regime has continued to attack civilians in the opposition-held areas of northwestern Syria's Idlib, disregarding the Turkey and Russia Sochi deal, which is aimed at establishing a cease-fire and a de-escalation zone in the region.

The latest attack came Monday night when the southeastern Idlib's Khan Shaykhun town came under artillery fire from regime forces. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), the head of Idlib's White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense group, Mustapha Hac Yousuf said that the Cercenez and Tuh villages have been evacuated due to the ongoing attacks, which is why there have been no injuries or death.

According to "Intervention Coordinators in the North," a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that aims to help civilians in northern parts of the county, a total of 5,360 families have been displaced in Idlib within the past week.

Since the signing of the Sochi deal, 33 civilians died in the attacks in the province and many others injured.

The Sochi agreement was reached on Sept. 17 between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The deal established a cease-fire in the Idlib region, the last opposition stronghold in Syria, on the condition that heavy arms and extremist groups would withdraw from the region.

Prior to the agreement, the Assad regime was signaling an expansive military operation against Idlib, sparking fears in the international community of a new humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces condemned the attacks, stating that the Bashar Assad regime is violating the Sochi deal.

In a written statement released yesterday, the group said that international pressure should be imposed on regime forces to prevent further attacks.

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