Civilians Killed in Syria after Failed Idlib Truce
On Monday, the government declared the truce over, accusing its opponents of attacking civilian areas and bombarding an air base of its ally Russian Federation.
The regime and its Russian ally on Wednesday slammed the southern edge of the bastion with air strikes, it said.
Instead, heightened attacks by the regime and Russian Federation have killed 800 civilians and pushed 400,000 people from their homes since the end of April, according to the UN. “The situation is hard but recovering the positions we lost is not impossible and we will work on that”, Colonel Mustafa Bakour of the Jaish al-Izza rebel group told Reuters by text message.
The villages of Al-Sakhr and Al-Jaysat in Hama province came under regime control, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said however that airstrikes were not as intense as the previous day.
Fierce clashes in the area since Tuesday night have killed 17 regime personnel as well as 23 anti-government fighters including 16 jihadists, the Britain-based Observatory said. Government forces were nearing the rebel-held towns of Latamneh, Kafr Zayta, and al-Habeet, he added.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to United Nations officials.
Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a militant group led by Syria’s former Al Qaeda affiliate, has since January controlled northern Hama as well as all of Idlib and adjacent parts of Aleppo and Latakia governorates.
The Syrian government had said it would agree to the ceasefire on condition militants fulfilled a Russian-Turkish deal a year ago which aimed to create a demilitarized zone.
British foreign minister Dominic Raab criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the resumption of operations.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said earlier this month the United Nations would investigate attacks on U.N. -supported facilities and other humanitarian sites in the northwest after two-thirds of the Security Council pushed for an inquiry.
Dujarric also said there were reports of civilians beginning to return to the homes they left in southern Idlib, raising concerns “over the impact of unexploded ordnance, the lack or absence of basic services, including water and the ability of humanitarian workers to access the population”.