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Tens of thousands of civilians flee Idlib as Assad’s assault continues

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Tens of thousands of civilians flee Idlib as Assad's assault continues

Meanwhile, Russian air strikes in Idlib, northwestern Syria, have killed at least eight civilians, including five children, a war monitor said. Syrian families, forcibly displaced due to the ongoing attacks carried out by the Assad regime and Russia, are seen at Atme camps in Idlib as they make their way to safer zones with their belongings. January 19, 2020. (AA) Around 36,000 more civilians have fled homes falling inside the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria over the last two days. This takes the number of civilians displaced by the Bashar al Assad regime's assault on Idlib to 450,000, since November 2019.

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According to Syria's Response Coordination Group, the displaced civilians were headed to areas near the Turkish border.

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Mohammad Hallaj, the director of the group, said Syrians fled Darat Izzah, Atarib, Haiian, Hraytan, Anadan, Khan Tuman, Khan al Asal, Kafr Naya and al Qasimia in response to the regime's attacks, supported by Russian air strikes

At least 36,007 civilians, consisting of 11,691 families, have become homeless over the last two days

Approximately 450,000 civilians have been displaced from the settlements of Idlib’s southern, southeastern, and Aleppo’s western and southern rural areas since November 2019

Camps in Idlib can no longer accommodate the rising influx of internally displaced persons (IDP). Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance

Russian strikes kill 8 civilians in Syria’s Idlib – monitor

Russian air strikes in Syria's northwestern region of Idlib on Thursday killed eight civilians, including five children, a war monitor said

Five civilians from the same family were killed in Saraqeb and three others in the town of Arnaba, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said

The region is witnessing very intense bombardment by Russian warplanes,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring group

EU condemns northwest Syria offensive

The EU on Thursday condemned renewed fighting in northwest Syria, demanding an end to “unacceptable” air strikes that continue to kill civilians

The Assad regime, backed by Russia, is tightening the noose around Idlib, the last major opposition and rebel-held stronghold in Syria's war, with air strikes killing at least 23 civilians on Tuesday

The renewal of the offensive in Idlib, including repeated air strikes, and the shelling targeting civilians are unacceptable and must cease,” an EU spokesman said in a statement

The EU will keep the sanctions against the Assad regime under review as long as these brutal attacks continue.”

TurkeyRussia's Idlib deal

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

But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces since, as ceasefire violations continue

Turkey announced on January 10 that a new ceasefire in Idlib  –– though “acts of aggression” were already officially banned – was set to start just after midnight on January 12

Separately, a day earlier, Russia’s defence ministry announced a ceasefire in the region taking effect at 1200 GMT

However, the regime and Iran-backed groups continued their ground attacks

More than one million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year

Since the eruption of war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country

Source: TRTWorld and agencies