A White Helmets rescuer tends to a victim of Assad regime shelling of Ma’arat al-Num’an, northwest Syria, January 29, 2019

Breaking the agreement for a demilitarized zone in northwest Syria, Assad regime forces shelled a town in opposition-held Idlib Province on Tuesday, killing at least 12 people.

The White Helmets civil defense reported the death toll, the highest in Idlib for months, in Ma’arat al-Num’an. It said 25 people were injured.

Russia and Turkey, whose forces are alongside rebels in the northwest, agreed in September on the 15 to 20-km wide and 100-km long zone around Idlib, northern Hama, and western Aleppo Province. Pro-Assad forces have recurrently shelled parts of the area despite the supposed ceasefire.

State news agency SANA justified the latest attack by saying the regime army was responding to “terrorist violations” in the southern part of the opposition zone. It did not explain why the shelling was on a civilian site.

A citizen journalist relates the account of a surgeon who failed to save the lives of two victims: