Russian fighter jets have continued to target Syria’s last opposition bastion, Idlib, as a solution to the decadeslong crisis seems out of reach, according to security sources.
Russian jets bombed rural Idlib, the sources told Daily Sabah and added that an observatory of the opposition determined that the attack was carried out by Russian SU-34 type fighter jets.
Idlib continues to suffer from the Bashar Assad regime and its backer Russia. Both are determined to recapture the last opposition stronghold and normalize political relations with regional countries, particularly within the scope of steps already taken with several Arab countries.
Attacks on civilians in Idlib almost continue on a daily basis and have caused the deaths of several children and women. Most recently on Saturday, three people died, among them a child, in another attack by Russia, the White Helmets civil defense group reported.
The attack took place in the outskirts of al-Jadeeda village west of Idlib and injured 13, including nine children.
The Idlib region is home to nearly 3 million people, two-thirds of them displaced from other parts of the country.
Nearly 75% of the total population in the opposition-held Idlib region depends on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs, as 1.6 million people continue to live in camps or informal settlements, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
For years, the Assad regime has ignored the needs and safety of the Syrian people, only eyeing further gains of territory and crushing the opposition. With this aim, the regime has for years bombed civilian facilities such as schools, hospitals and residential areas, causing the displacement of almost half of the country's population.
The situation for the people in Idlib worsened when the Assad regime, backed by Russia, launched an offensive on the province, causing the largest one-time displacement in the history of the Syrian civil war and a huge humanitarian tragedy, according to the U.N.
Frequent bombings and shelling have put nearly 50% of health facilities out of service, just as the Syrian people need them the most amid the coronavirus pandemic. Living in overcrowded tent camps or even out in the open in safe areas near the Turkish border, many are struggling to meet even basic needs.
The Idlib de-escalation zone was forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia. The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire agreements, which have been frequently violated by the Assad regime and its allies.
A fragile truce was brokered between Moscow and Ankara in March 2020 in response to months of fighting by the Russia-backed regime. Almost a million people have fled the Bashar Assad regime’s offensive; yet, the regime still frequently carries out attacks on civilians, hindering most from returning to their homes and forcing them to stay in makeshift camps.