87 civilians, including 33 children, killed in 3 weeks: Syrian Network - It's Over 9000!

87 civilians, including 33 children, killed in 3 weeks: Syrian Network


At least 87 civilians have been killed since the start of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement on January 12 in northwestern Idlib province, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The death toll included 33 children and 11 women, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

The regime forces backed by pro-Iran militias have committed four massacres between January 12, 2020, and January 27. 

Syrian Regime forces killed 37 civilians, including eight children, three women, and committed one massacre, while Russian forces killed 50 civilians, including 25 children, eight women, and committed three massacres, SNHR said.

On Thursday, the U.S. special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said 200 airstrikes by the Syrian regime and Russian warplanes have hit Idlib region in the last three days.

Jeffrey told a press briefing that some 700,000 displaced people in northwest Syria were “on the move toward the Turkish border, which would then create an international crisis.”

Meanwhile, Turkey will take additional measures against attacks targeting its forces and civilians in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the National Security Council said on Thursday, after a nearly 5-hour meeting chaired by President Tayyip Erdogan.

Bombardments by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces on Idlib have raised concern of a new refugee wave to Turkey. On Wednesday, Erdogan said that Ankara was losing patience with the assault in Idlib and that Russia was violating agreements aimed at stemming conflict there.

“The commitment of our country to take additional measures against terror attacks that continue to target our security forces and the civilian population in various parts of Syria, namely Idlib, despite the agreements with countries active in Syria was reiterated,” the council said in a statement.

The U.N. Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock described to the Security Council on Wednesday the dire conditions in the rebel-held areas. At least 20,000 people were displaced in the last two days, he said, adding that 115,000 left their homes in the past week, bringing total of those uprooted by the violence since December to 390,000.

“Many families are moving multiple times. They arrive in a place thought to be safe, only for the bombs to follow, so they are forced to move again," he said. “This cycle is all too familiar in northwest Syria.”

In the Russian-backed offensive, Syrian troops captured Maaret al-Numan, one of the largest and most strategic rebel-held towns in Idlib province on Wednesday. The town, which had been in rebel hands since 2012, sits on the highway linking Damascus with Aleppo and is considered critical to President Bashar Assad's forces. It was mostly empty after intense bombardment in recent weeks.

The regime offensive now appears to be eyeing Saraqeb, a town to the north, which if captured, would secure the regime's hold on the highway.

The fighting in Idlib has driven hundreds of thousands of civilians from their homes, mainly toward the border with Turkey and other rebel-held areas.

The push to control the highway has angered Turkey, which backs the Syrian opposition and has deployed troops to observation points inside Idlib to monitor an earlier cease-fire negotiated with Russia. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Russia is not loyal to agreements over Idlib and added that he is in contact with the Russians to urge them to stop the bombing in Idlib “or our patience will run out.”

Farther north, regime forces began an offensive on the western suburbs of Aleppo in an attempt to push insurgents away from Syria's largest city.

Source: Zaman al-Wasl. 

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