A woman takes her infant away from scene of a pro-Assad attack in northwest Syria, as a victim lies in the background, April 26, 2019

Only 24 hours after unsuccessful talks with Turkey and Iran over Syria’s eight-year confict, Russia renewed airstrikes — breaking the demilitarized zone it declared last September with Ankara — on the opposition-held northwest.

Assad regime forces continued shelling of Idlib and northern Hama Provinces, and the Islamist bloc Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham said it killed more than 20 regime troops in attacks outside the demilitarized zone.

Russian warplanes struck northern Hama Province on Saturday morning, preceded by a regime artillery barrage. Regime forces also shelled again in Idlib Province.

The White Helmets civil defense said 14 civilians were killed in a 24-hour period.

Saturday’s cycle of violence began with HTS attacking regime posts in south and southwest Syria just after midnight until dawn. The Islamist bloc, claiming retaliation for an escalation in regime shelling on civilian areas, said it then carried out a suicide bombing against regime and Iranian forces in southwestern Aleppo.

Syrian State media also claimed HTS shelling in regime areas of northern Hama, killing two people and wounding others.

The Assad regime, vowing to regain “every inch” of Syria, stepped up bombardment of Idlib and northern Hama in mid-February. At least 150 people have been killed, and tens of thousands displaced.

In the 12th round of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Friday, Russia and Turkey alongside Iran issued no statement about the situation in the northwest. But the head of the regime delegation, UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, denounced the “Turkish regime”: he asserted that it “has not complied with its commitments to the Sochi Agreement [for the demilitarized zones] or to remove terrorist organizations from Idlib”.

Syria Daily, April 27: No Progress in Russia-Turkey-Iran Talks

Speaking in Beijing on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is not planning to enable an Assad regime offensive on the area — for now.

With no sense of irony, he cited civilians’ sense of security.