Dozens killed as Damascus presses Idlib offensive

Dozens killed as Damascus presses Idlib offensive
Dozens killed as Damascus presses Idlib offensive

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Dozens killed as Damascus presses Idlib offensive in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BEIRUT — Dozens of fighters and civilians were killed in Syria's Idlib province as the government pressed a deadly offensive on Thursday toward a key town in the country's last rebel bastion.

The latest violence, which followed air strikes that killed 18 civilians on Wednesday, buried a cease-fire deal announced by Russia and rebel backer Turkey that never really took hold.

"Clashes broke out around midnight on Wednesday south of the city of Maaret Al-Numan, together with heavy bombardment despite the Russian-Turkish truce," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

According to the Britain-based war monitor, the fighting raged in areas south of Maaret Al-Numan, the key target of the Syrian government's latest military offensive.

At least 22 anti-government fighters were killed, most of them members of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a group that includes fighters from the former Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Seventeen government troops and allied militia were also killed in the fighting, the Observatory said.

Abdel Rahman added that government forces were now just seven kilometers (less than five miles) from Maaret Al-Numan, a town that was one of the bastions of the uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule.

Nearly nine years into the conflict, protests against the government are still held in some of the province's towns.

In the city of Idlib itself, 18 civilians were killed and several others wounded in Russian and Syrian air strikes on Wednesday, the Observatory said.

Reporters saw scenes of chaos after the strikes, that blew several buildings in an industrial zone to smithereens.

The bombardment engulfed several vehicles, leaving torched corpses of motorists trapped inside.

Mustafa, who runs a repair shop in the area, was lucky to escape with his life. He had just left the store to pick up some spare parts.

He said he returned to find the shop destroyed and his four employees trapped under rubble. It was not immediately clear if they had survived.

"This is not the neighborhood I left two minutes ago!" Mustafa said, tears rolling down his face.

The cease-fire announced by the Russian army on Sunday joins a long list of short-lived or still-born initiatives to curb the violence in Syria.

"We live here without knowing if there is really a truce or if it's just in the media. On the ground, there is no truce. People are afraid, the markets are empty," Sari Bitar, a 32-year-old engineer living in Idlib city said on Thursday.

"Just like everybody else, I can't stay in an area on which the regime, Russian forces and Iranian militia will advance," he said.

"The only problem is that there is nowhere to go," Bitar said. "Syria is now limited to this geographical area, which is getting smaller day by day."

Assad has repeatedly pledged to continue the reconquest that Russia's 2015 military intervention kick-started until all Syrian territory has been reclaimed.

Idlib province is a dead end for people displaced from other formerly rebel-held parts of the country that government forces have retaken.

Idlib has come under mounting bombardment in recent weeks, displacing tens of thousands of people in the northwestern province which home to some three million.

The United Nations' humanitarian coordination agency OCHA said that since Dec. 1 alone, almost 350,000 people had fled their homes, mainly heading northwards from southern Idlib which has borne the brunt of the air strikes.

The winter conditions in Idlib, with sub-zero temperatures interspersed by heavy rain, are putting thousands of lives at risk.

A UN resolution on cross-border aid to Syria maintained two key entry points for UN humanitarian aid into Idlib, where the number of people in extreme need keeps growing. — AFP

These were the details of the news Dozens killed as Damascus presses Idlib offensive for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Saudi Gazette and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

NEXT Greenpeace fined over North Sea oil rig protest