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Clashes Erupt in Latakia, Russian Bombardment Near Idlib

Clashes Erupt in Latakia, Russian Bombardment Near Idlib

Tuesday, 4 August, 2020 - 10:15
Smoke rises from the town of Binnish in the Idlib countryside after Russian raids on Monday (AFP)

At least 18 were killed in clashes on Monday in northwestern Syria between regime forces and opposition fighters, some of who belong to Hayat Tahriri al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front). This comes despite the ceasefire in effect and coincides with news of Russian bombardment of Idlib’s countryside.

Turkish artillery shelled regions in Saraqib town which is under regime control in the eastern Idlib countryside. The Turkish army also deployed more military and logistic reinforcements to outposts it controls in de-escalation zones in northwestern Syria.

More so, Russian airstrikes killed three people from the same family in the town of Binnish in Idlib on Monday, as opposition forces killed at least 12 government fighters after an attempted advance into northwestern Syria was thwarted, a UK-based group said.

Turkish forces reinforced their observation posts in northwestern Syria. A Turkish military column had entered Syria through the Kafr Lusin border on Monday. The column included 20 vehicles carrying military and logistic equipment.

A Moscow-backed ceasefire agreement in March has reduced violence in the area, but shelling and airstrikes by the regime and its backers continue.

According to the UN, violence has forced around half a million people to flee their homes in the region.

The ceasefire is still largely holding, despite repetitive violations, most recent of which were the Russian airstrikes on Binnish.

Ahmed Sayed Ali, a field activist in the Idlib governorate, said that three Russian planes flew over the Idlib governorate, taking turns to bomb and target the town of Binnish in Idlib countryside from the eastern side, killing four civilians, including a child, and wounding others, as well as causing massive damage to civilian property.

Ali added that aside from the Russian airstrikes, the town and its vicinity have been targeted by Syrian regime artillery based in Saraqib. The violence had forced a large number of civilians to flee.

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