At least 15 civilians died in Idlib province of Syria as regime forces made advances in northwest Syria with the help of Russian warplanes, said a war monitoring group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented the death of seven members of 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. It led to the death of seven members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them and two members of the Jihadi factions. 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. 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.
On December 19, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) raised an alarm about the attack by the Syrian regime forces on areas controlled by non-State armed groups and the retaliation of those groups on Government-controlled parts of southern Idleb and Aleppo. OCHA’s Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Mueller said that Civilians on both sides of the frontline suffer the consequences, adding that medical personnel and facilities have also suffered.
“Without the cross-border operation, we would see an immediate end of aid supporting millions of civilians,” said Mueller while briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria.