A 65-year-old woman was killed and three other civilians injured Sunday when Iran-backed terrorist groups and Assad regime forces carried out a rocket and artillery attack on northwestern Syria's Idlib, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported citing the White Helmets civilian defense group.
The Tehran-backed terrorist groups and the Assad regime have violated the March 5 cease-fire deal between Turkey and Russia on several occasions in recent weeks. Earlier Friday, they killed another civilian, a 2-year-old baby girl, in rocket and mortar attacks.
Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the Syrian Civil War, agreed to halt military activities in the northwestern Idlib region after an escalation of violence displaced nearly 1 million people and brought the two sides close to confrontation.
The deal addresses Turkey's main concerns, stopping a flow of refugees and preventing the deaths of more Turkish soldiers on the ground.
As part of the agreement, Turkish and Russian forces have been carrying out joint patrols along the M4 highway linking Syria's east and west and established a security corridor on either side of it. The first patrols took place on March 15.
Idlib, lying along Turkey's southern border, has long been under siege by Assad forces and their allies, with previous cease-fires in the region having been plagued with violations.
An influx of displaced civilians has increased the area's population to about 4 million in recent years.
Since April 2018, attacks on the last opposition stronghold dramatically intensified and caused new waves of refugees to move toward the Turkish border, putting Turkey, which already hosts 3.5 million Syrians, in a difficult position.
As a result, Turkey, which has the second-largest military in the transatlantic NATO alliance, has funneled troops and equipment into the region to stop the Syrian regime's advance.
Currently, Turkish soldiers are stationed in the region to protect the local population and keep out various terrorist groups.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.