Statement from Syrian Non-governmental Organizations about Targeting Civilians in Northwest Syria by the Syria Regime and its Allies

Statement from Syrian Non-governmental Organizations about Targeting Civilians in Northwest Syria by the Syria Regime and its Allies

Statement from Syrian Non-governmental Organizations about Targeting Civilians in Northwest Syria by the Syria Regime and its Allies

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Thursday 08th August 2019 07:17 AM

Several areas in Northwest Syria have been targeted with heavy shelling by the Syrian Regime and its allies. The shelling focused on residential areas and markets in a gross violation of the International Human Rights Law, The Sochi Buffer Zone agreement, and the De-escalation Zones agreement of Astana. On 22 July 2019, Russian warplanes targeted a market in Marat Al-Numan in southern Idlib countryside with an airstrike resulting in a number of casualties and while the Syrian Civil Defence teams were trying to rescue the injured and lift the bodies of the victims and as civilians were crowded onsite, the Russian warplanes targeted the same location again killing 49 including 5 women and 5 children and injuring 70 more civilians. Also, on 21 July 2019, Syrian Regime warplanes targeted Urem Al Jouz with two airstrikes killing 10 civilians including 3 children and 2 women and injuring 3 civilians. Moreover, on 24 July, a woman and her child were killed and 4 others were injured by an airstrike which hit a residential area next to a kindergarten and market in Ariha city in Idlib.

As several months have passed since the start of the military campaign against areas in the Idlib and Hamah countryside by Syrian and Russian Military Forces, our concerns increase regarding the catastrophic outcomes on the humanitarian situation due to the depletion suffered by Syrian and international humanitarian organisations especially under the decrease of humanitarian funding for Northwest Syria, the continued military escalation and failure of diplomatic efforts especially by the UN Security Council to reach a solution and stop the military escalation against civilians and vital installations.

 

Since the beginning of 2019, over 38 attacks on hospitals and medical facilities, 10 bakeries, 79 schools, 24 Civil Defence Centres, 23 IDP camps, numerous attacks on rescue crews, and on infrastructure and residential areas have been identified. More than 1,057 civilians, including 251 children, 174 women were killed and 2,243 civilians were injured in these attacks. These brutal attacks have prompted more than 350,000 civilians to flee their towns and villages and seek shelter in refugee camps near the Turkish border, but these exhausted and over-crowded camps have left more than 200,000 homeless.

This is the largest wave of displacement since the start of the conflict in 2011 coupled with a scarce humanitarian response and the shyest diplomatic efforts to prevent the upcoming disaster by the main international actors in the Syrian Crisis, therefore, we demand:

  1. Member States of the UN Security Council to take immediate action and the required steps to end the military escalation and to impose a diplomatic course for a political solution away from any use of military force.
  2. Guarantor States of De-escalation Zones agreement at Astana to reinforce the implantation of the agreement on the ground in order to protect civilians.
  3. UN agencies and donor states to respond immediately to the catastrophic outcomes of the military escalation on the humanitarian situation of civilians.
  4. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI), formed by the Human Rights Council in August 2011, and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM), formed by the UN General Assembly, to conduct urgent and promptly enforced to identify those responsible for these attacks.

6 August 2019

For the full text of the statement with names of the signing orgnisations please use this link:

THE STATMENT