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Assad regime attacks on Idlib kill 114, displace more than 250,000

Qatar Tribune logo Qatar Tribune 10/05/2019 Qatar Tribune
Assad regime attacks on Idlib kill 114, displace more than 250,000 © Provided by Qatar Tribune Assad regime attacks on Idlib kill 114, displace more than 250,000

The Russian-backed Syrian regime's increased offensive on opposition-held Idlib has killed at least 114 people and forced more than 250,000 to flee, the biggest escalation in the area since a de-escalation agreement was signed between Turkey and Russia in September.

According to various NGOs, Assad regime and Russian forces dropped more than 3,000 bombs on the city in the past 12 days, which has led to the deaths of some 114 people and injured 248 others.

Assad forces have been using terrorists holed up inside Idlib to carry out intermittent attacks on the city, intensifying their attacks since April 26 when the agreement between Turkey and Russia to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are strictly prohibited.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini condemned the escalation in Idlib, calling the offensives by the regime an "unacceptable violation of international law."

"The recent military escalation in northwestern Syria, with air attacks and artillery shelling targeting schools and hospitals, including the use of barrel bombs, is an unacceptable violation of international law," Mogherini said in a statement.

"As always, women and children are disproportionately affected by this escalation," she pointed out.

She said the EU supports the call for justice that comes from Syrians, adding: "We will never stop insisting on accountability for the perpetrators. We will keep on working to bring relief to the Syrian people."

Despite the deal, the Assad regime has been pushing to make new territorial gains. Assad forces captured Qalaat Al-Mudiq and Karkat, after opposition groups withdrew following heavy offensives, local media reported on Thursday.

Those locations were also covered under the Idlib deal.

According to local NGO Emergency Response Coordinators, nearly 400,000 civilians have been displaced due to regime attacks on Idlib since the agreement for the de-escalation deal was signed.

The civil war in Syria erupted in 2011 when the Assad regime harshly responded to protesters who had poured onto the streets to demand more rights and freedom. The cruelty against the protesters triggered a rebellion in significant parts of the country, turning into a brutal civil war. While more than 400,000 people have been killed, around 6 million people have been displaced internally and another 5 million were driven abroad as refugees since the beginning of the civil war, according to U.N. figures.

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