Russia carried out airstrikes in the de-escalation zone in Idlib, Syria, killing at least 16 civilians, a Syrian civil defense group said Thursday.
The White Helmets civil defense group said 16 civilians were killed and 18 others injured in the attacks.
The Syrian opposition aircraft observatory said the Russian jets targeted civilians who took refuge in a poultry farm in Maarrat Misrin, a town in Idlib province.
Search and rescue efforts are underway in the area.
The Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies have been carrying out intensified air and land attacks on civilian settlements in Idlib de-escalation zone.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But since then, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces who flouted a 2018 ceasefire and a new one that began on Jan. 12.
More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the past year.
Turkey remains the country with the most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million Syrians since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011.
* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara.