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Russian-backed government forces targeted the village of Kansfala in southern Idlib province and killed four children in a series of attacks on rebel strongholds in northwestern Syria.

In the attack, the children’s mother survived with her child. Her husband grazes sheep near the village. He rushed to his wife on Friday after hearing the attack and found his child under the rubble of the house.

The attack on another house injured three civilian farm workers, and two other children were injured by artillery fire on the border between Aleppo province and Idlib province.

This incident occurred the day after another attack killed five children [Ali Hajj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

The two children are visiting their father’s grave in Kafr Naha village in western Aleppo Province. One of the eight-year-old children was taken to a Turkish hospital.

Mustafa Hussein, an activist who lives in the village, told Al Jazeera: “Since five o’clock in the morning, a Russian military reconnaissance plane flew in the sky of Kansafura. The attack began half an hour later.”

“Because of the fear of the reconnaissance aircraft, we rushed to the scene of the attack on foot. We arrived too late and we found the children turned into fragments among the ruins,” he added.

The laser missile attack known as “Krasnopol” has recently become a common method to strike southern Idlib, where reconnaissance aircraft provide precise coordinates to launch rocket attacks.

Continuous strike

The attack occurred the day after five children in southern Idlib were killed in a similar attack, followed by Russian air strikes on the village of Ein Shib in the western part of Idlib.

On Wednesday, three civilians, including a child, were killed in a rocket attack on Turkish-controlled Afrin north of Aleppo, which is connected to Idlib province.

The attack on Afrin was launched from areas controlled by the government and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Syrian Democratic Forces is an army dominated by Kurds and is supported by an international coalition led by the United States.

Russian media reported that the attack targeted opposition fighters, but civilians in Idlib disagreed. Sputnik News Agency said that 35 members of the Hurras al-Din organization, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, were killed.

“We are being bombed every day. The attack on civilians yesterday turned children into fragments, and today they killed other children and turned them into fragments,” Ahmed Mustafa, a civilian living in the village, told the peninsula TV station.

After the attack supported by Russia, mourners pray in the village of Kansfala [Ali Hajj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Mustafa spoke via a WhatsApp audio clip and said that he and the children were hiding in a room of the house because the village south of Idlib was hit by another new rocket.

“There is no military command in our village. We are all civilians. People are trying to make a living on farmland,” he added.

In southern Idlib, some civilians usually leave their homes at around 5 am to go to surrounding farms to avoid an attack, but they have already begun.

Mustafa said: “Due to the living conditions and lack of livelihoods in the overcrowded camps in northern Idlib, we cannot be displaced.”

Displacement crisis

Kansfara village and surrounding villages are part of Jabal al-Zawiya in the southern part of Idlib province, and its population mainly depends on agriculture, especially olives.

The province now has about 5 million civilians, half of whom were displaced from the surrounding areas of Idlib. After more than 10 years of fierce war, government forces controlled these areas with the support of Russia.

The United Nations estimates that the number of displaced persons in northwestern Syria is 2.8 million, of which 1.7 million live in tents. The military operations at the beginning of last year resulted in the displacement of nearly 1 million civilians along the Syrian-Turkish border, putting pressure on Turkey.

According to the ceasefire agreement reached between the Syrian government ally Moscow and the rebel ally Ankara, military operations ceased in March last year.

Since then, Ankara has deployed troops to Idlib to prevent the ceasefire from breaking down and to protect Turkey, which has about 4 million Syrian refugees, from a new wave of displaced persons.

According to Jusoor for Studies, the Turkish research center, Turkey has 119 military bases in northern Syria, while Russia and Iran have 367 facilities in Syria to support the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad .

No solution

Pro-Assad forces are seeking to control the strategically located Jabal al-Zawiya, making it easier for them to monitor the opening of the M4 highway south of Idlib, leading to the government-controlled city of Aleppo and Latakia. Commercial traffic.

This makes the camps for internally displaced persons on the Syrian-Turkish border extremely crowded and causes the displaced people to continue to suffer because their tents sink in the winter rain and freeze due to the cold, and face high temperatures in the summer.

On Thursday, the civil defense team known as the “White Helmets” quickly extinguished the fire in the Samdoun camp west of Idlib. The fire engulfed about 20 tents.

Fire broke out after a gas leak in the Samdoun camp near the Syria-Turkey border [Syrian Civil Defence]

As a result of a gas leak, dozens of civilians were left homeless after the fire started, living in the open air.

“After the international parties pledged to guarantee a ceasefire and stop the bombing, the only solution for the displaced civilians is to return to their homes,” Idlib White Helmets spokesperson Feralas Khalifa told Al Jazeera.

He added: “In addition to ensuring the safe return of displaced civilians to alleviate the refugee camp crisis, the Russian and Syrian regimes must be obliged to cease military operations.”

“There are attacks on civilians every day. Since the beginning of this year, three civil defense volunteers have been killed while searching for survivors under the rubble, and about 11 others have been injured.”



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