Over 20,000 more civilians have fled Idlib city in northwestern Syria, taking shelter near the Turkish border in recent days, according to the head of Syria’s Response Coordination Group.
Mohammad Hallaj, the director of the group, told Anadolu Agency that the new wave of refugees had come over the past two days, amid bombardment by forces aligned with the Bashar Assad regime despite the area being a de-escalation zone.
Bombing by Russian-backed forces of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria has displaced more than 379,000 Syrians since last November.
Due to the increasing displaced population, the tent camps in Idlib fail to meet the needs of war-weary Syrians as there is not enough space to set up more tents. Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.
After a Turkish cabinet meeting in December last year, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey expects a halt to these attacks as soon as possible through a new cease-fire.
According to the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the Idlib province is home to around 3 million civilians, 75% of them women and children.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.