UPDATES WITH DEATH TOLL
By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria (AA) – The death toll from attacks by regime forces and Russian warplanes in de-escalation zone in northern Syria on Monday rose to 15, according to sources with the White Helmets civil defense agency.
According to the sources, five civilians were killed in town of Kafr Zita and two others in Latmeen in the morning at the central Hama province.
During the attacks in the evening eight more civilians including a civil defense official were killed.
The defense agency fears the death toll may rise, sources said.
Since the beginning of last week, at least 123 people were killed in ground and air attacks on the de-escalation zone.
Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.
The de-escalation zone is currently inhabited by about 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the regime forces from their cities and towns throughout the war-weary country over recent years.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit