Three civilians, including two children, were killed and seven people injured in regime airstrikes in the Idlib de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria on Monday, according to local sources.
The attacks targeted the towns of Bsheiriyeh, Zaizoun and al-Janoudiyah in Idlib, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
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, stipulating that the cease-fire in the Idlib region was to be preserved with the withdrawal of heavy arms and extremists from the region.
Despite eight months of calm provided by the Sochi deal, the regime, backed by Moscow, intensified its attacks starting on April 26 under the pretext of fighting the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorists holed up in Idlib. Since then, the situation has gotten worse, taking more civilian lives with each passing day.
Hosting nearly 3.6 million refugees from Syria, Ankara often warns the international community and regional countries that a new offensive could trigger a fresh wave of refugees 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.
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.