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Syria: 27,000 more civilians flee Idlib de-escalation zone

Syria: 27,000 more civilians flee Idlib de-escalation zone
Attacks by Assad regime, its allies force thousands of people to leave their homes

By Esref Musa and Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu

IDLIB, Syria (AA) - Around 27,000 civilians have fled their homes falling inside the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria over the last three days due to attacks of regime and its allies.

The attacks of Bashar al-Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed terrorist groups in residential areas east and south of Aleppo province continue to displace thousands of Syrians.

According to Syria's Response Coordination Group, the displaced civilians headed to areas near the Turkish border due to the attacks which violate the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Russia.

Mohammad Hallaj, the director of the group, told Anadolu Agency that the civilians left their homes in Darat Izzah district and several towns, including Khan Tuman, Khan al-Asal, Kafr Naya, and al-Qasimia due to attacks supported by Russian air strikes.

Due to the increasing displaced population, the tent camps in Idlib fail to meet the need of war-weary Syrians as there is not enough space to set up more tents. Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

However, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

As a fresh move, Turkey announced on Jan. 10 that a new cease-fire in Idlib rocked by violence -- though “acts of aggression” are already officially banned -- is set to start just after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 12.

Separately a day earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced a cease-fire in the region taking effect at 2.00 p.m. local time (1200GMT).

However, the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their ground attacks despite the fresh cease-fire.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.

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.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur in Ankara

source: News Feed
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