The Syrian Civil Defense Corps confirmed that the Russian forces are behind the deadly attack that targeted the town of Ma’aret al-Nu’man in rural Idlib on Monday when Russian jets bombed a marketplace in the center of the town. The airstrike killed 31 people, including five children, and injured about 50 others.
The Civil Defense issued a statement explaining that “the Russian forces sought to increase the death toll by carrying out double-tap airstrikes which targeted our volunteers and the other first responders.”
The statement pointed out that the civil defense were still carrying out search and rescue operations in the site of the attack on Tuesday. It slammed Russia’s denial of responsibility for the barbaric attack whose death toll stood at 23 killed civilians on Monday and which rose to 31 on Tuesday.
The statement added that the civil defense volunteer Amir Al-Bunni was among those killed in the attack. Al-Bunni, who was forcibly displaced from the Wadi Barada region near Damascus to Syria’s northwest, was among the first responders to the attack. Another civil defense volunteer, photographer Anas Diab, was killed in Russian airstrikes on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on Sunday.
The statement indicated that its observers provided accurate information about the departure of Russian airplanes from Humeimim airbase towards southeastern rural Idlib on the day of the attack. It said that the airstrikes on Ma’aret al-Nu’man begun at 8:36 AM and continued until 9:30, adding that a total of four airstrikes hit the town.
The civil defense noted that Russia, which has been seeking to prop up the Assad regime, is now defying the international community by barefacedly denying responsibility for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation and the collapse of the ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement in northwestern Syria. It stressed that Russia has become a direct partner in the crimes against the Syrian people.
The statement stressed that stopping Russia’s brutality today is the number one demand of the Syrian civilians and humanitarian workers, adding that these attacks will not discourage it from continuing to serve the Syrian civilians.
Moreover, the rescue group said that the provision of services to the civilian population have become extremely difficult in view of the lack of protection and Russia’s deliberate targeting of the civil defense volunteers. It added that Russia sees the civil defense as eyewitnesses to its crimes, which explains its deliberate targeting of the civil defense volunteers.
In a press release on Russia’s continued deadly attacks on the Syrian civilians, the Syrian Coalition reaffirmed that the United Nations and the international community, especially the main stakeholders, are capable of and have an obligation to put an end to these crimes, most notably the mass killings and forced displacement of innocent civilians and to reinvigorate the political process in accordance with international resolutions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)