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Assad forces violate ceasefire in Idlib

By end of first day of ceasefire, regime forces violated agreement 15 times, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents

 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Syrian regime artillery on Monday hit the village of al-Mastouma near a Turkish observation point, in a new violation of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire that may erupt clashes and burst the last rebel stronghold in northern Syria, local activists said.

At least 15 artillery shells hit the surrounding of the Turkish outpost, such a provocation pushed Ankara to send more reinforcements to Idlib where hundreds of Turkish soldiers equipped by tanks and artillery are still pouring to western Idlib region.

 Anadolu Agency said Monday that Bashar la-Assad's forces had violated the agreement 15 times.

The regime, which continued the violations Saturday and Sunday, engaged in harassment fire with a machine gun on a Turkish military convoy transporting supplies.

Elements of the regime also fired three mortar shells near another unit.

On Sunday, regime forces were determined to advance to points in Kafr Nabl village, a buffer zone south of Idlib, with two tanks, two armored personnel carriers and many militia convoys.

Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield on March 1 after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred in late February in an Assad regime airstrike in Idlib. Under a 2018 deal with Russia, Turkish troops were in Idlib to protect civilians from attacks by the regime and its allies.

On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in Moscow to a new ceasefire in Idlib.

The conflict in Syria has also killed more than 560,000 people and displaced 6.5 millions.

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Zaman Al Wasl
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