Opposition forces responded to attacks in rural areas of Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Latakia provinces after four civilians were killed Saturday by the Bashar Assad regime and Russian forces.
“Russian forces killed civilians from the same family in a bombing on the al-Shamali neighborhood of Jabala village in Idlib suburbs, Nov. 2,” announced the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
Following the attacks on civilian settlements, intense clashes between the two parties took place in Hama, northeast rural of Latakia and the front line of Kabina Hill that is a junction of Latakia and rural Idlib and holds strategic importance, Muhammad Rashid from Nasir Army, a faction of the Syrian National Army (SNA) told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Rashid added that at least 20 regime fighters were caught and the villages of Tal Risho, Tal al-Malik, Tal al-Ballut, Tal Rasha and Karmi were freed from the regime while a tank and heavy arms belonging to the regime were also destroyed. Yet, when Russian warplanes started bombardments, the opposition forces had to withdraw from the liberated areas.
Idlib, home to around 4 million people, is the last opposition enclave in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reached an agreement in Sochi on Sept. 17, 2018. According to the agreement, the cease-fire in the Idlib region was to be preserved with the withdrawal of heavy arms and radicals from the region.
The meeting in Sochi was part of the Astana process, which was held in Turkey in January 2017 to bring all warring parties in the Syrian conflict to the table to facilitate U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva. Ankara often warns the international community and regional countries that a new offensive could trigger a fresh refugee wave toward the West.
Despite the risks of great refugee flows and a humanitarian crisis in general, the regime and its backers continue to terrorize the region.