|Date: Jun 1, 2019|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Almost 950 killed in a month of northwest Syria violence|
|Agence France Presse|
BEIRUT: A spike in violence in and around a militant bastion in northwest Syria has killed 948 people in a month, almost a third of them civilians, a monitoring group said Friday.
A September deal was supposed to avert a full-out regime offensive on Idlib province and adjacent areas held by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
But the regime and its Russian ally have since late April ramped up deadly airstrikes and rocket fire on the militant stronghold, and fighters have clashed on its edges.
Since April 30, regime and Russian fire has killed 288 civilians including 67 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Militant rocket fire has killed a further 22 civilians including 10 children in regime-held territory, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Bombardment and clashes on the region's periphery have taken the lives of 369 militants and allied fighters, as well as 269 fighters on the regime's side.
The United Nations says roughly 270,000 people have been displaced by the fighting since late April, and aid agencies have been forced to halt work in some areas.