Airstrike deaths in Syria create ceasefire between Turkey and Russia

The deaths occur after a ceasefire agreement in the province entered into force on January 12, according to the Turkish defense ministry. The agreement was negotiated by Turkey and Russia.

At least 15 people died in strikes in a market and industrial zone in the city of Idlib, according to Idlib-based media activist Zaher Jaber. There are reports of people still buried under the rubble.

A resident of Kafra Nbel, a town near the city of Idlib, said the area has been attacked twice and the planes have been flying over Wednesday throughout the day.

“At least 5 fighter jets have targeted anything that moves on the ground,” said Mohammad Kafranbel, 22.

The White Helmets have recorded more than a dozen ceasefire violations since it was announced, according to the rescue group’s tweets. He said one of its members was among the dead and accused Russia of carrying out the airstrikes.

“Russia demonstrates again its disrespect for any ceasefire in Syria, and that the recent agreement with Turkey, on its fourth day, is nothing more than a repetitive scenario of similar failed agreements,” he said in a statement to CNN.

The UN says that more than 235,000 people fled their homes in northwestern Syria in the last two weeks.

“With the continuation of artillery and aerial bombardment by Russia, the ceasefire has come to an end,” he said, adding that the cities of Maarat Al Nouman, Kafra Nbel and Ariha were also targeted by the attacks.

The Russian Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.

In recent months, the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the support of Russian air power, has intensified its attacks against the northwestern province, the country’s last major opposition stronghold and home to more than 3 million Syrians.

The government has said it is targeting terrorists in Idlib. But if the violence continues, hundreds of thousands of civilians could be displaced in the coming weeks, international aid organizations warned in December.


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