Fresh killings come as rebels launch counter-offensive in western Hama province to recapture areas they lost on Thursday to regime forces. Meanwhile, aid groups suspend activities in embattled northwest.

A picture taken on May 10, 2019 shows plumes rising from shelling by government forces on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province.
A picture taken on May 10, 2019 shows plumes rising from shelling by government forces on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province. (AFP)

At least 12 civilians were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday in the latest regime bombings in Syria, as aid groups suspended activities in parts of violence-plagued northwest. 

The attack comes just a day after Turkey called on Russia to stop a wave of bombings. 

Regime and Russian forces have been targeting rebel-held rural areas of Idlib and Hama for two weeks. 

In the past 24 hours, rebels launched a counter-offensive in Hama to recapture areas they lost on Thursday. 

TRT World's Obaida Hitto reports. 

Violation of de-escalation deal

Eight months ago, Ankara and Moscow agreed to make Idlib a de-escalation zone, but more than 100 civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the past two weeks.

Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad has sworn to take back every inch of Syria and the enclave including Idlib is the last big bastion of the rebellion that flared against him 2011.

Syrian activist Lina Shami says Bashar al Assad's regime has no intention of sticking to the ceasefire agreement in Idlib.

On Friday, Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the regime should end attacks and its forces must return to borders determined by Astana Agreement.

"We expect the Russian Federation to take effective and decisive measures to prevent these violations and attacks in the following period. Assad regime attempts to widen its control area in south of Idlib against the Astana agreement."

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.

Last September, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Syria's northern Idlib province into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression would be expressly prohibited.

At least 565 civilians have been killed in attacks carried out by regime forces, Iran-backed terror groups and Russia in Idlib de-escalation zone since last September, according to a rights watchdog on Saturday.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said 163 minors and 105 women were among the victims.

TRT World spoke with Fadel Abdul Ghany of SNHR for more.

Aid groups suspend aid

Meanwhile, UN-linked aid groups said they have suspended activities in parts of violence-plagued northwest Syria, where intensified bombardment by the regime and Russia is jeopardising the safety of humanitarian workers.

"As of 8 May, at least 16 humanitarian partners have suspended their operations in areas impacted by conflict," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA said on Friday.

The World Food Programme said it has suspended "deliveries to about 47,000 people in towns and villages... (that) have come under bombardment".

The uptick in air strikes and shelling on the region dominated by Syria's former Al Qaeda affiliate has displaced 180,000 people between April 29 and May 9, OCHA said.

It has also affected 15 health facilities and 16 schools, it added. OCHA said five humanitarian workers, including two health professionals, have been reportedly killed due to air strikes and shelling.

Thousands displaced

Regime air and ground strikes in Syria's Idlib have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. 

TRT World's Obaida Hitto is at a site in Idlib where some have no other option but to stay out in the open.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies