Thu 05 March 2020:
At least 16 civilians died Thursday in Russian airstrikes in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
The strikes after midnight targeted an area where displaced Syrians had gathered outside the town of Maaret Misrin in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The strikes destroyed the poultry farm where the displaced families had been living.
The White Helmets civil defense group said 16 civilians, including one child, were killed and 18 others injured in the attacks.
Search and rescue efforts are underway in the area. It was reported that the toll was likely to increase as many wounded were in a critical state.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country. The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks.
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