Syria regime pounds western Aleppo amid continued ceasefire violations
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's struck areas of western Aleppo on Friday, amid continued violations of a shaky ceasefire brokered last month between key ally Russia and Turkey in the country's war-ravaged province of Idlib.
According to local media sources, fighters for the Syrian regime launched heavy artillery attacks on two villages in the western Aleppo countryside, including from its strategic regiment Base 46.
On Thursday, severe escalation was also reported in the country's northeast, as unidentified aircraft targeted munition belonging to Turkey-backed Syrian rebels positioned in the border city of Ras al-Ayn in Haskeh province, killing and wounding several fighters, according to The New Arab’s Arab-language service.
On the same day, three women working on farmland were injured following a regime artillery assault on the Idlib town of Taftanaz.
Regime rockets strikes were reported to have hit least seven different villages across the Idlib on Thursday, where Russian and Turkey are conducting joint patrols as part of an increasing fragile ceasefire agreement between the two large power brokers, who support opposing sides in the conflict.
Protesters, some of whom activists believe to be affiliated to the hardline Islamist group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, have disrupted the joint patrols along the M4 highway, which connect the regime-held cities of Aleppo and Latakia and cuts through rebel-held Idlib.
On Monday, Turkish forces stormed their camp, set up within 200 metres of where Russian troops were due to patrol.
The Russian defence ministry previously accused "terrorist groups" of obstructing the patrols, saying that they had used civilians "as human shields" in the protests.
Many Syrian political and military opposition groups have opposed the protests, saying that they could give Russia and the regime an excuse to violate the ceasefire agreement.
Turkey and Russia reached a ceasefire agreement last March following a bloody campaign by the Assad regime and Russia to capture territory in rebel-held Idlib province.
The assault left hundreds of people dead and displaced nearly a million civilians.