Two-day death toll in Syria's Idlib nears 100 - war monitor

A Syrian boy looks at US troops on patrol in the village of Ein Diwar in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province

Syrian government troops have renewed their push to reclaim the last opposition stronghold in Idlib province while Turkey, which sees Syrian Kurdish fighters as an existential threat, has been widening its military operations there to push them away from its borders.

At least 36 regime forces were among those killed.

Air strikes on Sunday afternoon hit rebel areas dozens of kilometres from the main front lines, signalling a potential escalation.

Syria's northwestern corner, including the Idlib region, is the last major chunk of territory still in rebel hands after more than eight years of war.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadist alliance also controls parts of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia provinces, with battles also now taking place in the latter, according to the monitor.

At least 10 civilians have been killed in Syrian government air raids on rebel-controlled towns in the country's northwest, according to rescue workers who operate in opposition-held areas.

The two sides discussed the situation in Syria, particularly in Idlib, in addition to the repeated attacks launched by terrorist organizations against nearby residential areas.

A Russian strike killed 19 other displaced civilians on August 16 in Hass, another town in Idlib, NYT reported, citing the same investigative techniques that included pilot communications.

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Since late April, Syria and Russian Federation have escalated their bombardment of the area, with more than 1,000 civilians killed in the hostilities, according to the United Nations.

A ceasefire announced by Russian Federation in late August has reduced fighting, but air strikes and clashes increased in November.

They underline the joint Syrian-Russian stances to fight terrorism and prevent terrorist groups from continuing to use Idlib residents as human shields and turn the area into a permanent terrorist haven.

On Sunday, the commander-in-chief of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Russian troops would deploy in three key areas under its control.

In October, Russia and Turkey struck a deal in which Syrian Kurdish fighters would pull out of the frontier region as Turkey launched a new invasion into northeast Syria.

"We have agreed on the deployment of Russian forces in Amuda, Tal Tamr and Ain Issa to secure safety and stability in the area", Mazloum Abdi said after a meeting with the chief of Russian forces in Syria.

The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests.

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