Almost 27,000 flee Syria’s Idlib to Turkey in three days – report

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Nearly 27,000 civilians have fled toward Turkey from the Syrian rebel-held province of Idlib in the last three days, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday.

Civilians from Idlib had come to areas near the Turkish border over three days following the increased airstrikes and shelling since last week in the last rebel-held enclave of Idlib, Anadolu said, citing the director of Syria Response Coordinators team Muhammad Hallaj.

Idlib has been tightly packed with its some 4 million population including civilians who fled fighting elsewhere in the country and thousands of government opponents who took refuge in the province following defeats elsewhere in the country.

Turkey and Russia signed an agreement to prevent an attack on Idlib in September 2018, setting the condition that Turkey must clear extremist groups from the province.

Since then, one of the groups deemed unacceptable by Moscow, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), has become the major power in Idlib, the last opposition-controlled province in Syria, leading to a resumption of the conflict.

The Syrian regime and Russia have intensified their assault since April, as Damascus and Moscow sought to capture the province from HTS, a jihadist group that includes fighters from al Qaeda-linked groups.

Ahval

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