Assad has kept his promise as his fresh onslaught in Idlib province in northwestern Syria has left 80,000 and more civilians displaced. Reported numbers have moved back and baggage in haste, as the province was hit by fresh attacks. Also, Russian fighter jets struck a convoy of cars leaving the city of Maarat Al-Numan, a city in northwestern Syria.
Up until now, Idlib had been held guard by rebel forces. But according to eyewitnesses, the area has been deserted and civilians are fleeing the area. Russia’s constant ‘scorched earth’ bombing has been a huge support system to the Syrian army that has been trying to gain control of the only province that was under militant control.
Multiple airstrikes over a span of a few days have been termed by the United Nations’ as a human catastrophe. Strangely, the over 400 airstrikes, by the Syrian army and Russia, allied with President Bashar Assad have been denied by them. They have instead said that they have no intent of indiscriminately bombing civilians by were only targeting al-Qaida-inspired militants.
This unfortunate exodus is bound to create problems, more so for Turkey which now seeing an inflow coming to the North towards the border.
According to the UN, the mass exodus has hit a standstill due to fuel shortage, an issue that has anyway troubled the Syrian population this winter. The lack of liquid has limited civilian movement. Moreover repeated hits on roads leading out have become death traps as of now. Many civilians heading north towards the border with Turkey are now stranded.
The Idlib province was being kept guard by a militant alliance led by the former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham. However, it holds a deserted look now. According to terrorism analysts, this latest bombardment should be treated as a prelude to a wide-scale ground offensive that Syrian leader Bashar Assad intends to go ahead with, to takeover Idlib.
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