Airstrikes have reportedly killed 14 civilians, including women and children, and injured 30 others in Syria's Idlib de-escalation zone, an official of pro-opposition civil defense -- White Helmets – said on Sunday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency’s reporter on the ground, Mustafa Haj Yusuf, director of White Helmets, said the airstrikes were carried out by Russian and Assad regime fighter jets.
"Saraqib, Maarretinuman and Kafr Nabl districts were targeted by the Russian and Assad regime's planes. 14 civilians were killed and 30 others were wounded," he said.
Stating that Russia and Assad regime have dozens of fighter jets constantly flying over Idlib, Yusuf said: "There have been more than 100 airstrikes taken place at different places in Idlib today," he said.
Yusuf went on to note that research and rescue operations were ongoing and the wounded civilians were taken to the nearest health facilities.
Idlib de-escalation zone has been under intense airstrikes for the last 1.5 months.
Located in northern Syria near Turkish borders, Idlib governorate was declared as a "de-escalation zone" on May 4-5, 2017. Controlled by anti-regime armed groups, Idlib is occasionally targeted by the Assad regime and Russia.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.
PYD/PKK detains over 1,000 civilians in Syria's Afrin
The PYD/PKK terrorist organization is keeping over 1,000 innocent civilians in captivity, having released Daesh prisoners on the condition that they would fight against the Turkish army and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Syria's Afrin region, local sources said Thursday.The terrorist group struck a deal with Daesh terrorists to use them as a tool against Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, the sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to security concerns. The PYD/PKK curtailed the freedom of many civilians who were fleeing the clashes between Kurdish and Arab opposition groups, putting them in prisons in the townships of Rajo and Jinderes to the west of Afrin, as well as in cells hidden underground.The number of civilians being held in prisons, with no official charges against them, is estimated at 1,100. It was also reported that some of the detainees were told they were “convicted” for life.A large number of civilians -- mostly Kurds and Arabs from Humus, Idlib, Aleppo, and Afrin -- are being subjected to severe torture by the terrorist organization, the sources said, adding, however, that it was members of the Kurdish opposition being tortured in the most brutal way.Fahad Moosa, a lawyer engaged in humanitarian diplomacy activities in Syria, said they had been in talks with the organization since April to free the civilians detained without charges, but had so far been unsuccessful.“The PYD/PKK has presented no reasons for the detainments,” he said.While confirming that the organization was indeed keeping over 1,000 innocent civilians, Moosa said that a dossier containing details of the issue had been presented to UN institutions as well as the delegations and NGOs participating in Astana talks.Video: FSA forces enter PKK headquarters On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said. Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.PYD/PKK leader defames Afrin operation with fake photoSeven terrorists captured during Turkey's Afrin operationTurkish PM: Over 300 terrorists neutralized in Operation Olive Branch
Syrian opposition launches operation against regime
Syria's armed opposition launched an operation Monday against Assad regime controlled regions around Turkmen Mountain in Latakia governorate, said its commander.Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Jabal al-Islam Commander Zahir Abu Usama said Russia is “intensely attacking Idlib”.“In order to alleviate these attacks, we have launched an operation around Turkmen Mountain in regime controlled Sarraf town and around the region," he said.Usama said they had seized the villages of Villa and Kapikaya in Sarraf which where under the regime’s control.It was also reported that a large number of regime soldiers were killed during the sudden attacks by the armed opposition.According to information gathered from local sources, Russian and regime warplanes attacked Turkmen Mountain after the opposition’s operation.Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.
Syrian opposition leader decries plight of East Ghouta
Decrying the worsening situation in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region, the head of Syria’s opposition delegation said Monday that helping civilians must be prioritized.“The situation in Eastern Ghouta is causing serious concern, and the last three months were the worst ever for this region,” Nasr al-Hariri, head of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on his first-ever visit to Moscow.“We call on everyone to put [as the top priority] the lives of the civilians -- in Eastern Ghouta, in Idlib, in Raqqah, in Afrin. Rescuing the lives of the civilians must be a priority for everyone, despite the things we have to do in combating terrorism.”Al-Hariri said that despite the implementation of safe zones in Syria, there are many regions where the armistice does not work.Video: Assad regime airstrikes continue to devastate Eastern Ghouta; children suffocate under rubbleCommenting on whether the opposition delegation will take part in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress (SNDC) in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi, al-Hariri claimed that no final decision has been made yet.“We will not make a final decision on our participation in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi until we have the exact information about its purposes, which we have to discuss with our international partners and the UN.”He added that bombardment of opposition forces in Syria has resulted in their refusal to participate in the SNDC.Home to some 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for five years, and humanitarian access to the city has been completely cut off. Hundreds are in urgent need of medical care.In the past eight months, the Bashar al-Assad regime has intensified its siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it almost impossible to bring food or medicine into the district and leaving hundreds of medical patients in need of treatment.Notably, the district falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly forbidden.Syria has only just begun to emerge from a destructive civil war that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.