By Esref Musa, Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu
IDLIB (AA) - The death toll from Sunday’s Russian airstrikes in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province has risen to 26, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency on Monday.
The Syrian opposition aircraft observatory said the areas near Idlib’s city center and villages were targeted.
Earlier, it was reported that 17 people had been killed when Russian warplanes struck opposition-held areas in Idlib’s Sheikh Ali, Atarib, Kafr Nouran villages on Sunday.
On Monday, the White Helmets said the airstrikes also killed nine civilians in Ibbin village.
Turkey is continuing to send reinforcements to the de-escalation zone, with a Turkish convoy -- including scores of tanks -- deployed at different points in Idlib.
The Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies have continued intensified air and land attacks on civilian settlements in the zone.
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, however, more than 1,800 civilians there have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces as the ceasefire continues to be violated.
Turkey announced on Jan. 10 that a new ceasefire in Idlib would start just after midnight on Jan. 12, but the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their attacks.
More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the past year.
Turkey remains the country with the most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million migrants since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
*Writing by Burak Dag