Civilians flee to Turkish border as Syrian forces attack Aleppo

A large number of civilians have begun moving towards Turkish border after Iran-backed Syrian government forces launched a ground offensive in an area of Aleppo province which was designated as a de-escalation zone, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Russian planes have also been providing air support to Bashar Assad government’s offensive against rebel-held regions in west Aleppo, Anadolu said.

Turkey has one observation post in the region that is under attack, it said. Turkey established 12 observation posts in Syria after Ankara and Moscow agreed on establishing a de-escalation zone in Idlib in 2018.

But despite the Turkish-Russian deal, Russia backed Syrian government forces last year launched an offensive in Idlib, the last major rebel-held enclave in Syria which is home to an estimated 3 million people. 

Turkey and Russia announced last Sunday a ceasefire agreement in Idlib. 

Russia’s Ministry of Defence on Thursday denied media reports that it had bombed civilian targets in Idlib province, saying there had been no military flights since a ceasefire was introduced on Jan. 9, Reuters reported

The latest wave of displaced people comes after 400,000 people fled earlier to camps near the Turkish border, U.N. officials said on Thursday.