The strikes which hit Jubass village in Idlib province killed at least eight civilians, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Syrian regime has captured at least 35 residential areas in the past four days in the northwestern Idlib province.

People gather in a market in the city of Saraqeb in the Idlib countryside after an air strike by Syrian regime aircraft on December 21, 2019.
People gather in a market in the city of Saraqeb in the Idlib countryside after an air strike by Syrian regime aircraft on December 21, 2019. (AP)

At least eight people, including five children, were killed on Tuesday in Russian air strikes on a school in northwest Syria sheltering displaced civilians, according to a war monitor.

The strikes targeted the village of Jubass near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province, a designated de-escalation area, killing civilians sheltering in and near a school, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Since Thursday, regime forces supported by Russian air strikes have taken control of dozens of towns and villages in the area.

They are now less than four kilometres (two miles) from the strategic city of Maarat al Numan, the head of the Britain-based monitor, Rami Abdel Rahman, said.

The regime and its allies on Monday night took control of nine more areas, including Jarjnaz, Khirbet Marata, Abu Dafna, al Hadisa, Kafr Yasin, al Salihiyah, Dar al Salam, al Falul, and Babulin.

Russia, Turkey talks

A Turkish delegation was in Russia on Monday for talks on Syria, following reports that Russian-backed attacks there were forcing tens of thousands more Syrians to flee towards Turkey.

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.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.

Since the eruption of war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

Turkey working to clear northern Syria of terrorists

Turkey is continuing efforts to eliminate terrorists in northern Syria where the country has been carrying out an anti-terror Operation titled "Peace Spring" since October 9, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday.

“We have coordinated our activities here by signing deals with the US and Russia. They are ongoing now, especially with Russians. Our friends have been following day and night the remaining terrorists on the west and east of the area,” Hulusi Akar said.

Speaking at a military award ceremony in Ankara, the Turkish capital, Akar pointed to some “significant” military developments in the world and the region and said Turkey needs to further increase the effectiveness and deterrence of Turkish Armed Forces.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on October 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey’s borders.

Since then, Turkey reached agreements with both the US and Russia to force the YPG/PKK to withdraw from the planned terror-free zone.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organisation. 

In PKK's 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state, more than 40,000 people, including women and children, have been killed.

Turkey, the US and the EU recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies