Intensified airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian air forces killed at least nine people in the town of Saraqib and six others in the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in rural Idlib on Sunday a day before the start of the Sochi conference which Moscow claimed was aimed at finding a solution in Syria.
Activists said that Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air force and Iranian militias, have expanded their military operations across all Syrian territory after the Syrian Negotiations Commission announced it would not participate in the Sochi conference.
Activists from the district of Douma in eastern Ghouta published videos showing the aftermath of artillery bombardment by regime forces on the district in which five civilians were killed.
The local council in Saraqib on Sunday declared the rebel-held town a disaster area as a result of the massive destruction resulting from the relentless bombing campaign by the Assad regime and Russian warplanes.
The Council said in a statement that the town has been hit with dozens of airstrikes and barrel bombs attacks, adding that the Assad regime and Russian forces used all types of weapons in the bombings, including the internationally banned cluster munitions, vacuum bombs, bunker-buster bombs, napalm, and the white phosphorus.
The council noted that the heavy aerial bombardment destroyed the majority of vital civilian centers in the town, especially medical centers, hospitals, bakeries, and public markets. The bombings also caused massive damage to civilian homes and internally displaced people camps on the outskirts of the town.
The local council in Rural Damascus said that Russia bears the consequences of the crimes of the Assad regime in eastern Ghouta “because it claims to play the role of mediator for peace without exerting pressure on the Assad regime.” It pointed out “the Assad regime responded to the cease-fire announced by Russia in the area by more procrastination and total indifference.”
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, on Sunday said that the Commission decided not to participate in the Sochi conference as he reaffirmed commitment to the UN-led political process.
Hariri pointed out that the Commission’s delegation held dialogue with the Russian side, the United Nations, Turkey and the United States to take advantage of any initiative aimed at pushing for a political solution in Geneva. He stressed that the Assad regime does not believe in a political solution as it continues to obstruct the political process. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)