IDLIB, Syria: Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, search for survivors following an air-strike on the flashpoint town of Maaret Al-Numan in Syria’s southern Idlib governorate on Monday night.-AFP

IDLIB, Syria: Displaced Syrians escaping from attacks on civilians by the Bashar Al-Assad regime and Russian forces are facing harsh winter conditions in Idlib, a de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria.

Sarot camp’s residents struggling with flooding and mud due to heavy rainfall, are waiting for their area to be cleaned and their basic needs to be met. Aerial footage of the camp taken by Anadolu Agency Video News shows people trying to cope in the water, mud and cold.

Sarot camp’s director said that it was the best place they could find to locate the camp. Complaining about the situations in the camp, one of the residents, Subhiyye Birro said: “We didn’t know where the bombing came from. Everywhere was bombed. We ran away with the clothes on us. We need everything here. We want everything we need from our God. Stoves, diesel oil, clothes, food and some drink. We need everything.” “I have two children. Nights are freezing. We need a stove and diesel oil,” Birro added.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

It is “out of the question” for Turkey to evacuate its military observation posts in Syria’s Idlib, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said yesterday, after Russian and Syrian forces intensified their bombardment of targets in the northwestern province. Turkey has 12 such posts in Idlib, and at home it hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world.

It fears another wave from the region, where up to 3 million Syrians live in the last significant rebel-held swathe of territory after a nearly nine year civil war. Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad has vowed to recapture Idlib, prompting a recent wave of refugees towards Turkey’s border. – Reuters