At least 17 civilians were killed in airstrikes Saturday by the Bashar al-Assad regime in northwestern Syria, said a local civil defense agency, Anadolu reports.
Regime warplanes have targeted Idlib’s city center, Maarrat al-Numan and Saraqib districts and 11 villages in the morning hours, said the White Helmets.
At least seven people were killed in the city center, six in the village of Binnish, four in the village of Al-Nerab, including two children while 50 others were injured.
Following the airstrikes, civil defense teams launched search and rescue efforts.
Turkey announced Friday that a new cease-fire in Idlib rocked by violence — though “acts of aggression” are already officially banned — is set to start just after midnight on Sunday, Jan. 12.
Separately on Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced a cease-fire in the region taking effect at 2.00 p.m. local time (1200GMT).
Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone, killing at least 1,300 civilians since the agreement.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to some four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.