At least 11 civilians, including 3 children and a journalist, Anas Al Dyab, have been reportedly killed by Syrian airstrikes in the rebel-held region of Northwestern Syria on Sunday. According to war monitors, the number of civilians killed by the Syrian government and Russian bombardments since September tolls up to 682 after Sunday’s deaths.
According to witnesses, Dyab’s friends and family gathered to mourn and to bid farewell to his body. His family, fellow citizen journalists, and rescue workers were present while he was buried in the city of Idlib, as ongoing bombardment did not allow for him to be laid to rest in his hometown, Khan Sheikhoun, says AFP news agency journalist. Medics say that he was covering the raids before he was killed.
Despite a September buffer zone deal to protect the region of Idlib that has three million inhabitants from a massive military assault, the Syrian and Russian governments have relatively increased bombardment recently. The Idlib conflict-free safe-zone was agreed upon under the Astana Treaty by Russia, Turkey and Syria.
Turkish President Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he wanted a ceasefire in Idlib to prevent more civilian deaths and a refugee influx to Turkey but Syrian government refused to do so. Their disagreement over Idlib has therefore led to an escalation in clashes. As stated by the United Nations, sheer violence has forced over 330,000 people to flee their homes.