Syria regime violating Turkey-Russia Idlib deal: Agency

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – The Assad regime and allied terrorist groups have continued shelling the Idlib de-escalation zone, killing one civilian and injuring three others on Thursday, the White Helmets civil-defense agency said.

The regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups have recently fired more than 100 artillery barrages into the Kafr Hamrah and Rashedeen regions, both of which are located within the de-escalation zone, the parameters of which were laid down in a Sept. 17 agreement between Turkey and Russia.

The National Liberation Front, an umbrella group of opposition movements based in the region, has attempted to counter the attacks by striking regime forces deployed in central Aleppo.

Amir al-Haj, director of the White Helmets’ Aleppo chapter, told Anadolu Agency that at least one civilian had been killed — and three more injured — in overnight raids by the regime and its allies.

Despite the Sept. 17 agreement (signed in the Russian resort city of Sochi), regime forces have also continued to target rural areas of Latakia province, southern Idlib, western Aleppo and northern and western Hama.

In line with the Sochi deal, opposition groups withdrew their heavy weaponry from specified regions of Idlib earlier this month.

The regime appears to have stepped up its attacks ahead of an upcoming quadrilateral Syria summit to be held in Istanbul this Saturday.

It is expected that the German, French and Russian heads of state will attend the high-profile event.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict while millions more have been forced to flee their homes.

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara

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