Airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian forces caused civilian casualties in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib and knocked out a civil defense center in the town of Sarqib on Sunday.
The Syrian Civil Defense Corps, also known as the White Helmets, said in a statement that two airstrikes hit the town of Khan Sheikoun, killing three civilians, including a child, and injuring many others who were rushed to nearby medical centers. The airstrikes, in which vacuum bombs were used, also caused fire to civilian homes and property.
The Civil Defense added that a man and a woman were injured in a similar attack on civilian homes in the village of Midaya, while material damage was reported as a result of airstrikes, in which C8 missiles were used, on the Damascus-Aleppo highway near the town of Khan Sheikoun and the outskirts of the town of Heish. Airstrikes also hit the village of Qassabiya, without reports of casualties.
Local activists said that the airstrikes on Khan Sheikoun were carried out by Russian jets, pointing out that a civilian was killed and three others injured in suspected Russian airstrikes on the village of Ghadfa in eastern rural Idlib.
Senior United Nations rights officials have underscored the obligation on all parties to the conflict in Syria, and the international community, to protect civilians from atrocity crimes as dozens of people in eastern Ghouta and Idlib province have been killed in recent airstrikes, and schools and hospitals are being deliberately destroyed by the Assad regime and its allies.
“We cannot stand by silently in the face of indiscriminate violence and violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” said Adama Dieng the UN Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide, and Ivan Simonovic, the UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, in a joint statement issued Thursday.
“We urge all stakeholders, including the Security Council, to condemn this violence, and we urge the parties to the conflict to ensure that basic principles of humanitarian law are protected, in particular with regards to proportionality and distinction.”
The Civil Defense earlier said that 225 civilians were killed and 547others injured, more than half of them children and women, in 33 the days into the bombing campaign being waged by the Assad regime and Russian air forces on Idlib province. More than 620 air strikes as well as 939 artillery shells and rockets hit the province in the first month of the offensive.
The United Nations said that the bombing campaign has already forced over 100,000 civilians from their homes in Idlib province towards relatively safer areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)