Syrian regime forces have killed over 1,800 civilians and are in control of around 2,000 square kilometres in Idlib's de-escalation zone, despite the Sochi deal signed in 2018 between Turkey, Russia and Iran, SIA reports.
To maintain some peace and a ceasefire in the region, four areas in Syria were designated as de-escalation zones. But regime forces backed by Russia and Iran are continuing their attacks and have now taken control of all de-escalation zones in Syria, except Idlib, a northwestern province near Turkey's border. In the Sochi deal, Turkey and Russia agreed to set up a demilitarised zone in Idlib, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Over 1,800 civilians have been killed by artillery fire and air strikes since the deal was signed in 2018. During these attacks, many places of worship, schools, hospitals, and civil defence offices were also repeatedly targeted.
With the latest attacks on civilian settlements, the Assad regime's strategy is to drive all civilians from Idlib towards Turkey's border. Regime forces have labelled all civilians in Idlib as "terrorists," and are known for indiscriminately killing women and children. Since January 2019, the number of Syrians that have moved to areas near Turkey's border has increased to nearly 1.8 million.
Air strikes turn to land assaults
The regime has taken over large districts such as Kafr Nabudah, Khan Shaykhun, Maarat al Numan, Saraqib as well as south and southeast of Idlib, rural areas of northern and eastern Hama and many rural areas in southern and western Aleppo.
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