IDLIB, Syria (Reuters) – Shopkeepers and residents in Syria’s Idlib city have found relief from air strikes but remain wary after a ceasefire halted fierce government bombing against the rebel foothold.
For three months, an army offensive backed by Russia has killed at least 400 people in northwest Syria and uprooted more than 440,000, the United Nations says.
Damascus - Ceasefire - Thursday - Night - Warplanes
Since Damascus declared a ceasefire on Thursday night, its warplanes have not mounted air strikes, though the combatants are still shelling each other.
Idlib lies in the last major chunk of territory rebels hold after facing defeat across much of Syria at the hands of Damascus with its allies Russia and Iran.
Weekend - Streets - Idlib - City - Cars
At the weekend, the streets of Idlib city buzzed with cars and people. Some stopped by market stalls to look at clothes, while others lined up at kiosks to buy juice.
“Before, there was panic. Every time the warning sirens rang, the market became empty right away,” Mhamad al-Omar, who sells cold drinks, told Reuters. “Now that there’s a bit of calm, there’s traffic today Praise God… People are tired.”
Air - Strikes - Schools - Hospitals - Markets
Air strikes have hit schools, hospitals, markets and bakeries in the latest assault, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last week. Damascus, which denies striking civilians in the eight-year-old war, says it has been responding to militant attacks.
“The ceasefire is good for everyone. But we don’t know what’s waiting for us,” said Munaf Daher, a college student in Idlib. “We hope it will be good and people will keep coming back to their homes, this is the biggest joy.”
Hasan - Abdelallal - Aid - Worker
Hasan Abdelallal, a local aid worker who was displaced...
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