Hundreds of Syrian and Turkish demonstrators reportedly held an anti-Russian protest in Istanbul on December 28 against Russian and Syrian government attacks on Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib. According to international media reports, the protesters had gathered close to the Russian consulate in Istanbul to highlight the regime's brutality against civilians and shed light on the humanitarian situation unfolding in Idlib. The violence has displaced approximately 2,35,000 people and killed scores of civilians including women and children.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented the death of seven members of the same family in Maarrat al-Nu’man after Russian warplanes bombed the area to seize from jihadists group. In the Russian airstrikes two citizens were killed in Talmanas, and six casualties in Ma’saran town. The SOHR also monitored the continuation of violent clashes between regime and rebel forces in the countryside of Latakia and Sahl al-Ghab. Earlier on December 20, the Britain-based observatory stated that intense aerial and ground bombardment on Idlib countryside continued where regime forces targeted areas in Al-Tah, Tal Al-Shih, Sahal, Um Tinah and Al-Ferja and it was supported by Russian warplanes in the vicinity of Saraqib, Maarrat Al-Nu’man city and its outskirts.
According to the Syrian Observatory, the regime’s warplanes and helicopters launched at least 201 airstrikes in Idlib province where the ground forces did more than 360 strikes. The clashes have led to a humanitarian crisis and a large number of people have been displaced due to this. At least 4,800 people have reportedly lost their lives since April 30 when the conflict escalated with an increased aerial and ground bombardment.
Earlier this week, Turkey also said that they were in talks with Russia to reach a ceasefire in Idlib, Syria's northwestern province after Turkish diplomats travelled to Moscow to initiate talks on Syria and Libya. The Presidential spokesman for Turkey, Ibrahim Kalin also apprised that Russia has agreed to stop attacks in Idlib. The province, which holds significance due to the last important rebel pocket has witnessed an increased bombardment of targets by Russia and Syria, which Syrian President Bashar-al-Hassad has vowed to recapture.