Middle East

Syrian regime, allies capture 35 residential areas in Idlib

Assad regime captures residential areas in Idlib de-escalation zone by disregarding Astana deals

Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa and Adham Kako   | 24.12.2019
Syrian regime, allies capture 35 residential areas in Idlib

IDLIB, Syria 

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime backed by Russia and Iran has captured 35 residential areas in the past four days in the northwestern Idlib province, which has been designated a de-escalation zone.

Since the offensive began on Dec. 20, the regime and its allies have launched a military campaign mainly in the cities of Maarat Al-Numan and Saraqib as well as the surrounding rural areas.

Despite being a de-escalation zone, the regime and its allies on Monday night took control of nine more areas, including Jarjnaz, Khirbet Marata, Abu Dafna, al-Hadisa, Kafr Yasin, al-Salihiyah, Dar al-Salam, al-Falul, and Babulin, bringing the number to 35.

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 cease-fire continues to be violated.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

* Writing by Nilay Kar Onum

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