World, Middle East

Russian airstrikes kill 5 civilians in northern Syria

Warplanes target 18 residential areas in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone

Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa and Omer Koparan   | 24.02.2020
Russian airstrikes kill 5 civilians in northern Syria

IDLIB, Syria 

Russian warplanes targeted residential areas in Syria's Idlib de-escalation, killing at least five civilians, a civil defense group working in the war-torn country said Monday.

The Syrian opposition aircraft targeted 18 residential areas, according to The White Helmets.

Russian airstrikes kill 5 civilians as tension escalates in northern Syria

These areas include Kafr Nabl, Ehsim, Kansafra, Sufuhon, Hizareen, Kafar Aweed, Hass, Deir Sunbul villages in the south of Idlib as well as Darat Izza and Kafr Nouran towns in the west of Aleppo.

Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on the pro-democracy protests.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.

For several years, Turkey has stressed the safety of Syrians along its southern border, both from terrorists seeking to form a “terror corridor” in northern Syria, and from attacks by the Assad regime, Russian forces, and Iranian-backed militias.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib province into a de-escalation zone to prevent a regime offensive but Syrian regime forces have pressed ahead, regardless, resulting in both civilian and military casualties.

The recent advances have sent over a million civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.7 million refugees, more than any country in the world.

Ankara has called for an immediate halt to the attacks, and for the cease-fire to be followed, warning that if the attacks do not stop, it will act.

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