12 civilians killed after mortar attack hits Syrian wedding party
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12 civilians killed after mortar attack hits Syrian wedding party

The wedding party was being held in the village of al-Wadihi late on Sunday, when it was shelled by the terrorists' mortars, according to the Syrian state broadcaster. Earlier in the day, terrorists carried out two other mortar attacks in the west of Aleppo and inside the city. The attacks came as government forces launched a major operation against foreign-backed terrorist groups in Hama and Idlib. The army says the operation was in response to terrorists’ breach of a de-escalation zone agreement there. Under a deal reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on September 17, 2018, all militants in a demilitarized zone, which surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15 last year. The National Front for the Liberation of Syria is the main Turkish-backed militant alliance in the Idlib region, but the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group, which is a coalition of different terror outfits, largely composed of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, holds a large part of the province and the zone. The HTS, which is said to be in control of some 60 percent of Idlib province, has yet to announce its stance on the buffer zone deal. It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 members of different factions of armed groups, which Syria, Russia and Turkey consider terrorists, are active in the volatile province, which is home to around three million inhabitants. Syrian forces are pressing ahead with the final phase of the anti-terror campaign after most foreign-backed terrorist groups were vanquished in the country last year. Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

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