On Sunday, the Turkish army sent heavy reinforcements into northern Idleb province, two days after Ankara and Moscow reached a ceasefire to end three months of daily bombing by the Syrian regime forces on the last real stronghold.
Hundreds of Turkish troops equipped with 100 tanks, artillery, multiple-rocket launchers, fuel trucks and mobile radar jamming units crossed into Idleb on Sunday, local activists and rebel sources said.
On Friday, a cease-fire deal took hold in Syria’s northwestern province.
The truce, brokered by Turkey and Russia, halted a terrifying three-month air and ground campaign that killed hundreds and sent 1 million people fleeing towards the Turkish border.
The agreement, announced Thursday after a six-hour meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents in Moscow, essentially froze the conflict lines in Idleb. It does not force Assad’s forces to roll back significant military gains made during the Russian-backed offensive over the past three months — a key Turkish demand prior to the talks, AP reported.
The Russian-backed Syrian regime forces have bombed out of service and destroyed at least 225 civil facilities in northwestern Syria since last November, the Syrian Response Coordination Group said Sunday.
The regime offensive in Idleb province and parts of Aleppo has displaced more than 1,041,000 people from their homes and killed 700 people, including 91 women, 212 children and 17 rescue workers, over the past three months, the group said.
According to the local monitoring group, Russia and regime airstrikes have targeted 20 refugee shelters, 88 educational facilities, nine Civil Defense agency centers, 32 health centers, eight ambulances, 14 furnaces and a bakery, 31 worship, and 23 other facilities, such as water and power plants.
The nine-year-old war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and forced 13 million people from their homes, half of whom have left their shattered homeland.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.