Over 800 civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in the town of Akirbat and surrounding villages in eastern rural Hama since the area fell to the ISIS extremist group in late 2013, the local council in the town said.
According to the council, at least 700 airstrikes have hit the area over the past 15 days targeting vital civilian infrastructure and leaving it completely destroyed.
Head of the local council Ahmad Hamwi said that 811 civilians have been killed in the area at the hands of ISIS and in the “barbaric bombardment” by the Assad regime and Russian forces since late 2013.
Hamwi pointed out that ISIS killed 239 people, mostly women and children, while airstrikes by the Russian and Assad regime forces killed 572 more, more than a third of them women and children. He said that the fate of dozens of civilians is still unknown after they were kidnapped by ISIS militants.
The humanitarian situation in the town and the surrounding villages continue to deteriorate, Hamwi said. He pointed to severe shortages of basic foodstuffs, especially bread after the Russian jets bombed the only remaining bakery in the area.
Hamwi pointed to the lack of vaccines for children, which led to the emergence of polio, measles, and other diseases affecting children. He said that education in the area sharply deteriorated due to the bombing of schools in the area and ISIS’s imposition of curricula to promote its extremist ideology.
The Assad regime forces have committed several massacres against civilians in the town of Akirbat, most notably the chemical attack on January 12, 2016, which claimed the lives of over 100 civilians, mostly women and children. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)