More than 31,000 civilians have been displaced over the past four days as groups backed by the Assad regime, Russia and Iran carried out attacks in Idlib, Syria’s Response Coordination Group said.

A Syrian child in the back of a truck at a camp for displaced people near the village of Harbnoush in Idlib province after fleeing regime forces' advance on Maarat al Numan on December 27, 2019.
A Syrian child in the back of a truck at a camp for displaced people near the village of Harbnoush in Idlib province after fleeing regime forces' advance on Maarat al Numan on December 27, 2019. (AFP)

More than 31,000 more civilians fled the northwestern Idlib region of Syria and took shelter near the Turkish border in recent days, according to the head of Syria's Response Coordination Group.

Mohammad Hallaj, the director of the group, said the new wave of refugees came during the past four days as groups backed by the Assad regime, Russia and Iran carried out attacks in Maarat al Numan town and nearby villages.

The number of people who sought shelter near the Turkish borderline has increased to 359,471 since the regime and Russian forces launched an attack in early November 2019.

It is feared that another 250,000 civilians might be displaced if the attacks intensify in southern Idlib which may lead to a massive influx of refugees towards Turkey and Europe.

Due to the increasing number of displacements, the camps in Idlib fail to meet the need of war-weary Syrians as there is not enough space to set up more tents. Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

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

Since then, thousands of civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the ceasefire continues to be violated.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.

After a Cabinet meeting in December 2019, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin had said Turkey expects a halt to these attacks as soon as possible through a new ceasefire.

According to the Syrian National Coalition, Idlib province is home to around 3 million civilians, 75 percent of them women and children.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.

Source: AA