UN, Turkish aid trucks head to Idlib, Syria

– Trucks carrying essential supplies cross over from Turkey’s Hatay and Erzurum provinces

By Cem Genco and Muhammet Mutaf

HATAY/ERZURUM, Turkey (AA) – The UN on Wednesday sent 52 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib, northwestern Syria.

The trucks carrying essential supplies for people in the conflict-marred Syrian province passed through the Cilvegozu border crossing in Turkey's southern Hatay province.

An additional 21 aid trucks were sent to Idlib from Turkey's eastern Erzurum province.

They carried supplies collected by the provincial governor's office, metropolitan authority, and some non-governmental organizations.

Idlib has been a stronghold of opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

It is currently home to nearly four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced by regime forces from other parts of the war-torn country.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

But more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces since then, flouting both the 2018 cease-fire and a new one that started on Jan. 12.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara