The Syrian army has resumed operations against armed rebels in Idlib, scrapping a ceasefire in the last opposition-held stronghold.
In a statement، the army accused the rebels of violating the truce that was brokered last week during talks in Kazakhstan following a three-month campaign supported by Russia.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian government air raids resumed on the region minutes after the truce was cancelled, before Russian planes joined in too. Russian jets pounded the western edge of the enclave, while aircraft from both sides resumed bombardment of its southern flank, the UK-based war monitor said.
Russia’s defence ministry meanwhile said rebels had shelled the outskirts of its key airbase of Hmeimim. However, the airbase was unaffected by the attack.
Syrian state media had said on 1st August, the ceasefire would depend on armed groups fulfilling a 2018 deal aiming to create a buffer zone in Idlib. The Sochi agreement was brokered by Russia, the main ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; and Turkey, which supports some rebel groups in the region.
Under the deal, armed groups in the last rebel-held province were required to retreat 20km from demilitarised areas around the stronghold, as well as withdraw their heavy weapons from the front lines.