Conflict

Regime fire kills woman in northwest Syria

Syria

Regime fire killed a woman in the rebel held region of northwest Syria Sunday, a monitor said, the first such death since a truce to protect the area.

Regime fire killed a civilian in the rebel held region of northwest Syria Sunday, a monitor said, the first such death since a truce to protect the area.

Air strikes on Idlib province and nearby areas have stopped since Thursday, when the government announced a ceasefire for the area following three months of deadly bombardment.

But the regime has continued shelling the region, which currently hosts some 3 million people, while jihadists who dominate the area have refused to withdraw from a future buffer zone required under the truce deal.

Regime rocket fire on Sunday killed a woman in the Bidama district in the region’s west, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

“It’s the first civilian death since the implementation of the truce deal,” the Britain-based monitor’s head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

On Saturday, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance which dominates the region on Turkey’s border refused any withdrawal from the planned buffer zone to separate regime forces from rebel and jihadist fighters.

Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, the leader of the alliance led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, said his fighters would “never withdraw from the zone”.

Just a day earlier, his group had warned it would respond to any ceasefire violations by its enemies.

The buffer zone is a key part of a deal struck by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey in September to avert a full-out offensive on Idlib.

But that accord was never fully implemented as HTS refused to withdraw from the planned buffer.

Meanwhile, two children died of injuries sustained as a result of previous bombing by the warplanes of the Jisr al-Shughour city and the town of Ma’ara shurin near the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man.

Syria’s White Helments documented the killing of 343 civilians, including 195 men, 83 children and 61 women, as well as four civil defense volunteers, as a result of the Russia-regime bombing campaign in northern Syria during July.

A three-month uptick in regime and Russian bombardment since late April has killed more than 790 civilians in the opposition bastion, the Observatory says.

Retaliatory fire on government-controlled areas in the same period has killed just over 70 civilians, it says.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 370,000 people and driven millions from their homes since it started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

Article: The New Arab

Image: Getty Images