At least nine people, including children, were killed and dozens more wounded in Russian airstrikes and regime artillery shelling on a school in the town of Douma in Rural Damascus on Thursday.
The attack in Douma took place only one day after 26 people, mostly schoolchildren and teachers, have been killed in a similar attack on a school complex in the town of Hass in rural Idlib.
Head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that the bombing of the school complex in Hass might be “the deadliest” one since the outbreak of war in Syria over five years ago. Expressing outrage, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on Thursday declared that the bombing constitutes a war crime.
Syrian media activist Omran Samasra said that the air raids directly hit the Hass school and several adjacent residential buildings. He said that the choice of the complex as a target “proves the regime’s intention to kill as many civilians as possible.”
Activists said that the airstrikes and artillery shelling also targeted residential neighborhoods in Douma, adding that that the bombing caused material damage in the rebel-held town.
In a statement released following the attack in Hass, the Syrian Coalition said that the deliberate targeting of civilians using high-explosive weapons is clearly aimed at maximizing the number of casualties; causing mayhem; forcing civilians to leave their homes; and forcing them to agree to local truces out of the framework of the political process. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)