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World Syria: Tens of thousands flee as regime strikes Idlib

15:46  08 january  2018
15:46  08 january  2018 Source:   cnn.com

7 civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria's Idlib: monitor

  7 civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria's Idlib: monitor At least seven civilians, including five children, were killed Tuesday by air strikes in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, the last outside government control, a monitor said. Government and allied forces backed by Russian warplanes have been battling jihadist fighters and rebels for over a week in an area straddling the border between Idlib and Hama provinces.The airstrikes targeted the town of Khan Subul in the center of Idlib province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "There were at least seven dead, five children and two women," the Observatory said.

The number of civilians fleeing northern Syria is likely in the tens of thousands , UN officials say, as the government steps up its offensive.

The Syrian regime , led by President Bashar al-Assad, has resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas, such as Idlib province, where medical organizations The number of civilians fleeing their makeshift homes in northern Syria is likely to be in the tens of thousands , UN Idlib province, which borders

Syrians who fled Idlib province take shelter at a camp near the Turkish border on Thursday. © ZEIN AL RIFAI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images Syrians who fled Idlib province take shelter at a camp near the Turkish border on Thursday.

The number of civilians fleeing their makeshift homes in northern Syria is likely to be in the tens of thousands, UN officials have told CNN, as the Syrian government steps up its offensive on key rebel-held areas.

The Syrian regime, led by President Bashar al-Assad, has resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas, such as Idlib province, where medical organizations say several hospitals and medical facilities have been hit over the past two weeks.

The officials said that around half of the civilian population of 2 million people in Idlib province had already been living in "extremely dire" circumstances before being forced to again flee in the winter cold.

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The Syrian regime , led by President Bashar al-Assad, has resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas, such as Idlib province, where medical organizations say "If the strikes on civilian centers continue, there is the possibility of an additional 400,000 civilians trying to make their way to the Turkish border.

The number of civilians fleeing their makeshift homes in northern Syria is likely to be in the tens of thousands , UN Idlib province, which borders Turkey, is the largest remaining rebel-held territory in Syria . "If the strikes on civilian centers continue, there is the possibility of an additional 400,000

"They are particularly vulnerable as they were displaced before, and they are fleeing into areas that are extremely packed -- full to capacity -- and struggling to cope particularly now with the weather," one of the officials said.

Idlib province, which borders Turkey, is the largest remaining rebel-held territory in Syria.

The Syrian regime, has retaken control of much of the country in the past year with the help of Russian forces and has launched an offensive to seize Idlib, the only province that came under full rebel control in the near-seven-year war.

Idlib and other nearby rebel-held areas have been designated as "de-escalation zones" in a Russia-engineered agreement with Assad. Airstrikes by the regime and violence by rebels there are in violation of a truce put forward by Russia and agreed to by Assad.

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The number of civilians fleeing their makeshift homes in northern Syria is likely to be in the tens of thousands , UN officials said, as the Syrian The Syrian regime , led by President Bashar al-Assad, has resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas, such as Idlib province, where medical organizations say

The number of civilians fleeing their makeshift homes in northern Syria is likely to be in the tens of thousands , UN officials said, as the Syrian The Syrian regime , led by President Bashar al-Assad, has resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas, such as Idlib province, where medical organizations say

'There's no water, no food'

The Idlib Media Center activist group posted a video online of trucks carrying what appeared to be furniture and clothes that it said belonging to Idlib's displaced people.

Selim Tosun, from the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, warned that if regime forces seized Idlib, there would be many people already displaced who would have nowhere to go.

He said that an estimated 100,000 civilians had fled Hama Province, next to Idlib, and headed toward the Turkish border in the past week.

"If the strikes on civilian centers continue, there is the possibility of an additional 400,000 civilians trying to make their way to the Turkish border. This area is already saturated with people and is currently housing roughly 1 million people. The area is not a suitable living area for this many people already and to have further influx will make the situation worse," he told CNN, speaking from the center of Idlib.

Some people arriving at the border are setting up their own makeshift tents, he said.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh and Sarah Sirgany contributed to this story.

Russian gains in Syria threatened by series of rebel attacks .
Just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Syria, Russian military outposts in the country have come under rebel attacks that are challenging Moscow's gains.Russian bases located in Syrian President Bashar Assad's Alawite heartland had been immune to rebel raids ever since Moscow launched its campaign in Syria in September 2015. But a series of drone attacks and mortar and rocket shelling in recent days has broken the calm.

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