Pro-Assad forces, fresh from recapture of territory across Syria, defied “de-escalation zones” with attacks both in the northwest and the south on Sunday.
In Idlib Province in northwest Syria, At least four civilians were killed and several injured in an airstrike on Jisr al-Shughour.
Pro-Assad forces have not pursued a ground offensive on Idlib, almost all of which has been held by the opposition since late January when they were redeployed to overrun East Ghouta near Damascus. However, regime and Russian airstrikes have continued, causing scores of casualties.
The attacks break de-escalation zones proclaimed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey last year and are being pursued despite a series of Turkish observation posts deployed around Idlib, northern Hama, and western Aleppo Provinces. The Assad regime has pledged to regain all of the province despite the Turkish military presence alongside rebels in the northwest.
Scenes from yesterday’s attacks:
In Daraa Province in the south, civilians and rescuers were wounded by rockets and shelling.
Daraa, where the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, is a likely target of the regime after the reoccupations of East Ghouta and northern Homs Province, with capitulation agreements and forced displacements. An offensive would set aside another Russian-proclaimed de-escalation zone and risk confrontation between Israel and any Iranian-led militia and Hezbollah fighters alongside regime units.
A wounded rescuer says as he is being placed in an ambulance, “Thank God the rocket landed on us and not the civilians.”
You will not seen such humanity in your life,
This hero of #whitehelmets he said thanks god for "The rocket landed on us," says Hamdallah, And did not fall on the civilians,
This is the humanity he care about the civilians more than his self #WhiteHelmets ❤️❤️#Daraa today pic.twitter.com/7fcCjegBlo
— Nedal Alamari (@nedal_alamari) May 6, 2018