The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that it has obtained satellite images showing the extent of the massive destruction inflicted on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in southern rural Idlib, noting that the goal of the Russian-Syrian alliance is “to implement the Grozny and Eastern Ghouta model and to destroy as many buildings as possible to punish Syrian society.”
In a report published on Monday, the Network said that “the magnitude and extent of the destruction of Khan Sheikhoun in the southern suburbs of Idlib are very similar to what was inflicted on the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus between February and April 2018, and before that on the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo at the end of 2016.”
“Based on satellite images of Khan Sheikhoun city taken on August 2, 2019, the report identifies about 220 points where buildings were severely destroyed, noting that approximately 35 percent of the area of the city has been completely destroyed, and 40 percent of it partially destroyed. This means that about 75 percent of the city’s buildings are either partially or completely destroyed,” the monitoring group added.
According to the report, since the beginning of the recent military campaign by Syrian-Russian alliance forces on April 26, 2019, these forces have deliberately bombed and destroyed as many houses as possible, especially targeting vital facilities located in the fourth de-escalation zone.
The Network went on: “The report reveals that the bombardment by Russian-Syrian alliance forces targeting the fourth de-escalation zone since April 26 has resulted in the deaths of 1,012 civilians, including 272 children, and 171 women (adult female), as well as causing the displacement of approximately 630.000 civilians according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and leading to the accumulation of approximately 500.000 asylum seekers on the Turkish border.”
The report indicated that that “the extensive destruction inflicted through intense aerial carpet-bombing is not a chaotic process, but a deliberate strategy aimed at destroying as many buildings and facilities as possible to punish the inhabitants of those areas and force them to pay the greatest possible price for demanding freedom, with the regime able to do this due to being protected by continuous total impunity for several years now.”
The report outlined the record of Russian-Syrian alliance forces’ use of the most notable types of weapons in the Idlib area since the beginning of the recent military campaign on April 26, 2019, up until September 15, 2019. The SNHR documented at least 24 cluster munitions attacks, 12 of which were carried out by the Assad regime, and three carried out by Russian forces, in addition to at least 21 incendiary weapons attacks, all by the Assad regime.”
“As the report further reveals, Syrian Regime forces used nail missiles in at least seven attacks, while the Syrian regime’s helicopters and fixed-wing warplanes dropped at least 3,420 barrel bombs, in addition to using chemical weapons in one attack on al Kbaina village in the suburbs of Latakia.”
The Network report called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to “condemn the perpetrators of war crimes, massacres and the main perpetrators of violations of UN Security Council resolutions,” calling on Russia “to stop supporting the regime and not to veto the UN Security Council.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)