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Syrian regime sets wheat fields on fire in Idlib

TOPSHOT - A man walks in a field as smoke billows in an agricultural field in the town of al-Qahtaniyah, in the Hasakeh province near the Syrian-Turkish border on June 10, 2019. - Fires have erupted in various parts of Syria in recent weeks, with all sides blaming each other for starting them. In the Kurdish-run breadbasket province of Hasakeh, of which Al-Qahtaniya is part, IS has claimed several arson attacks on wheat fields. (Photo by Delil souleiman / AFP) (Photo credit should read DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A man walks in a field as smoke billows in an agricultural field in the town of al-Qahtaniyah, in the Hasakeh province near the Syrian-Turkish border on June 10, 2019 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria targets the cultivated fields in the rural areas of Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces and prevents farmers from harvesting their crops, Anadolu Agency reported.

The regime forces, which burned thousands of acres of wheat fields with an attack dubbed "the hunger bomb," are aiming to prevent farmers from harvesting their crops and starve tens of thousands of civilians.

Midyen al-Hussein, the chairman of the local council of Kaston, Hama, told Anadolu Agency that the regime caused great damage by ground-to-ground weapons, stressing that the fields were the only source of income for the people of the region.

In Kaston, the regime burned 2,500 decares (618 acres) of wheat fields in violation of the cease-fire, al-Hussein said.

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He added that many farmers now in search of new jobs in other agricultural lands and they are waiting for food parcel aids.

Another farmer, Halit abu Ahmed, who returned to his village after the cease-fire, said the Assad regime frequently violated the cease-fire and burned his crops in the western Hama village of Duqmaq.

"The regime burned nearly 400 decares [99 acres] of wheat fields in Duqmaq," he said. "Farmers extinguished the fires in the fields with their tractors."

Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Turkey and Russia agreed on a cease-fire in Idlib in March 2020 to avoid any escalation.

The Syrian regime, however, has consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.

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