A Russian-made ballistic missile yesterday hit a school situated in a district of Syria's northwestern Idlib province, injuring 12 civilians, including 10 children.
According to Anadolu Agency (AA) and the White Helmets in Idlib, a missile targeted Idlib's de-escalation zone despite the Sochi deal between Turkey and Russia. The officials underscored that search and rescue teams were still continuing their work.
Late Sunday, Hama, a city in the de-escalation zone, was also shaken by seven consecutive airstrikes fired by three Russian airplanes. A civilian was killed and seven others were injured. In March, 135 civilians lost their lives in the heavy airstrikes targeting the de-escalation zone.
The Sochi agreement was reached on Sept. 17 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The deal established a cease-fire in the Idlib region, which is the last stronghold of the opposition, on the condition that heavy arms and extremist groups would withdraw from the region. Prior to the agreement, the Bashar Assad regime was signaling a major military operation against Idlib, sparking fears in the international community of a new humanitarian crisis. In line with the agreement, the first Russian-Turkish coordinated patrols were carried out on March 8. However, despite the deal, the regime attacks on the last opposition enclave have been escalating for some time now, killing more than three dozen civilians with many others injured and fueling concerns that a new crisis will erupt. A new refugee crisis is not only a concern for Turkey, but it would also have implications for Europe. It has been estimated that around 700,000 people may arrive in Turkey, from where they might attempt to go to Europe.