At least 12 civilians, including five children, were killed in airstrikes carried out by the Syrian regime in the northwestern province of Idlib, local sources said Tuesday.
Russian and regime fighter jets hit Idlib city center, the town of Binnish and the region of Sahil Roj, said the White Helmets, a civil defense agency.
This attack came one day after airstrikes were launched in an effort to regain control of a key town from opposition forces, civil defense groups said late Monday.
Meanwhile, Russian warplanes carried out several attacks on Idlib frontlines and some civilian structures, including in the Fua village.
Initial reports by the civil defense sources suggested nine civilians were killed and many others wounded on Monday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said forces loyal to the Bashar Assad regime had taken back control of Idlib’s strategic Saraqib district, adding that clashes around the district continued Monday evening.
Since Saturday, moderate opposition forces had reclaimed control of the Anqawi, al-Qahira, al-Manara and Tal Zajran villages in the Hama countryside, along with the villages of al-Halluba, Kukfin, Kafr Avid, Sfuhan and Fattara in southern Idlib.
Moderate opposition forces are currently engaged in clashes with Assad regime forces and Iran-backed foreign terrorist groups.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country. The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks.
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