IDLIB, Syria

Russia carried out airstrikes in the de-escalation zone in Idlib, Syria, killing at least three civilians, a Syrian civil defense group said Monday. 

The White Helmets civil defense group said three others were injured in the attacks.

More than 20 airstrikes targeted two mountains and three villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya region, and two other villages in the northwestern countryside of the Hama province, the Syrian opposition aircraft observatory said.

Search and rescue efforts are underway in the area.

Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia. The area, lying along Turkey’s southern border, has been the subject of multiple cease-fire understandings, which have frequently been violated by the Assad regime and its allies.

It is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-weary country.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara.

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