Regime and Russian warplanes pound north-western Syria's Idlib and Hama regions, a war monitor says, in persistent violation of de-escalation deal Turkey and Russia inked in September 2018.

Members of White Helmets gather at the site of a reported air strike on the town of Ariha, in the south of Syria's Idlib province on July 28, 2019.
Members of White Helmets gather at the site of a reported air strike on the town of Ariha, in the south of Syria's Idlib province on July 28, 2019. (AFP)

Regime and Russian bombardment on Sunday killed at least nine civilians in north-western Syria where ramped up attacks by the two allies have claimed hundreds of lives since April, a war monitor said.

Regime air strikes killed five civilians in the Idlib town of Ariha, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday.

Russian raids, meanwhile, killed two civilians in northern Hama, according to the Britain-based monitor.

Shelling and air strikes by the regime also killed two other civilians elsewhere in the north-west, it added.

Regime violence in de-escalation zone

Idlib and parts of the neighbouring provinces of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia are under the control of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, a militant group led by Syria's former Al Qaeda affiliate, and other rebel groups.

The region is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a September buffer zone deal, but it has come under increasing bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally over the past three months.

The bombardment comes a day after regime and Russian air strikes on the region killed 15 civilians, including 11 in Ariha, the monitor said.

Attacks on displaced civilians

Some three million people, nearly half of them already displaced from other parts of the country, live in the Idlib region.

Attacks by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia have claimed more than 740 lives there since late April, according to the war monitor. The UN says more than 400,000 people have been displaced.

The war in Syria has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests.

Source: AFP