A family flees Russian bombing of northwest Syria, June 3, 2020 (White Helmets)

Russia has broken March’s ceasefire in opposition-held northwest Syria for the first time.

Russian warplanes bombed the al-Ghab Plain at the junction of the Idlib, Hama, and Latakia Provinces.

There were no injuries, but hundreds of civilians fled their homes and moved north.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed a ceasefire on March 5, pausing an 11-month Russian-regime offensive with a de facto partition of Idlib Province.

The offensive seized almost all of northern Hama Province and parts of south and east Idlib. Attacks killed about 2,000 civilians, wounded thousands, and displaced more than 1 million. It was finally checked by Turkish attacks on Assad regime positions from late January.

Russian officials gave no explanation for breaking the ceasefire. Syrian State news agency SANA was also silent, preferring a feature on cherry trees.

Local activists are concerned about the resumption of the offensive on the ground and in the air. They report the movement of pro-Assad forces, including Iranian-backed militias, in northern Hama and southern Idlib Provinces.

The bombing came on the one-year anniversary of deadly strikes on the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man, southeast of Idlib city. Russian-regime forces later overran the area, forcing hundreds of thousands of people deeper into Idlib Province.