The Assad regime and Russian air forces have targeted dozens of medical facilities and vital civilian centers, including 31 civil defense centers, as part of the ongoing bombing campaign in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria.
In a report released on Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that it had recorded 15 attacks by the Assad regime forces on the civil defense centers in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces. The Russian forces were responsible for 16 attacks in the provinces of Idlib and Hama.
The monitoring group pointed out that it had recorded 396 attacks against the civil defense centers in Syria in the same period, 277 of which were carried out by regime forces, 102 by the Russian forces, and 17 by other parties.
According to the report, the Russian attacks killed four civil defense volunteers and wounded at least 22 others since the beginning of the bombing campaign on April 26, 2019.
The Network said that at least 229 civil defense volunteers were killed across Syria between March 2013 and July 12, 2019. Of those, 159 were killed by the Assad regime forces, 38 by the Russian forces, and three by ISIS, while one was killed by the PYD militia and 28 others killed by groups that the Network did not identify.
The Network also said it recorded at least 396 attacks on civil defense centers in the same period, 227 of which were launched by the Assad regime and 102 by the Russian forces.
The Network stressed that the deliberate attacks against medical centers and personnel protected by the Geneva Convention as well as humanitarian workers were a war crime and violated the provisions of the international human rights law.
The United Nations and Western governments condemned the targeting of civilians, hospitals and medical staff in the ‘de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, stressing the need to stop military attacks on Idlib and its surroundings.
In a statement on Friday, the German Foreign Ministry said that the aerial bombardment by the Assad regime and its allies which have been ongoing since late April targeted German-funded medical facilities and killed many medical workers.
The Syrian Coalition called upon the United Nations to condemn the Assad regime attacks against civilians in Idlib, calling for serious action to stop the bombing and ensure the protection of civilians.
The Coalition described the targeting of civilians as a “criminal act” as it stressed the need to activate the principle of accountability and transitional justice as well as to tighten the economic and legal sanctions on the Assad regime.
The Network called on the UN Security Council to take measures pursuant to the UN resolutions 2139 and 2254 as it stressed the need to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and to hold all those involved, including the Russian regime, accountable for war crimes. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)