Attacks by the Assad regime continued in Syria's Idlib province on Friday despite Russia's recent announcement of a ceasefire in the region.
Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday announced a ceasefire, taking effect in the region at 02.00 p.m. local time (1200GMT).
Following Russia's declared ceasefire, regime forces on Thursday shelled Maarat Al-Numan city and the villages of Maar Shoreen, Talmenes, and Maar Shamshah and continued on Friday to bomb Maarat Al-Numan and Talmenes.
The Assad regime also launched ground operations to take more villages and towns in the southern countryside of Idlib.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the ceasefire continues to be violated.
Over 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.
According to the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the Idlib province is home to around 3 million civilians, 75% of them women and children.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.
* Writing by Mahmoud BarakatAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.