Five civilians were killed in Assad regime attacks on residential areas located inside northern Syria's de-escalation zones, local sources said Thursday.
Overnight airstrikes and artillery attacks targeted the villages of Kansafra, Termela, Bsekla Has and Abdin in Idlib province, along with the village of al-Huwaiz and the town of Kafrnabuda in Hama province, sources said.
In Kansafra and Bsekla, the attacks left five civilians dead, including a woman and two children, according to the White Helmets civil-defense agency. Airstrikes on positions in Kafrnabuda and Bsekla were carried out by Russian warplanes stationed at the Khmeimim Airbase in the western Latakia province, opposition sources said. In a related development, the National Liberation Front, a faction of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), reportedly managed to repel an advance on Kafrnabuda by regime ground forces. Last September, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression would be strictly prohibited. Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.