By Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa
IDLIB, Syria (AA) – At least 15 civilians were killed in airstrikes Wednesday by the Bashar al-Assad regime and Russia in northwestern Idlib province of Syria.
According to the Syrian opposition aircraft observatory, Russian and the regime warplanes have targeted Idlib’s Maarrat al-Numan county and some villages.
The attacks killed at least 15 people, injuring some others.
Although the Russian Defense Ministry claimed the cease-fire began in Syria's Idlib region on Jan. 9, the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their ground attacks.
On Jan. 9, the cease-fire was declared with Russia and Turkey's initiatives.
The cease-fire has been broken a few times with the ground attacks, but Wednesday's attack has been the first airstrike attack since the cease-fire was announced.
Turkey pushed hard for a cease-fire in Idlib after the region endured months of battering by forces loyal to the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, sending about a million civilian refugees flocking towards the Turkish border.
Also, Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Since then, more than 1,300 civilians there have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces as the cease-fire continued to be violated.
More than one million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut in Ankara