The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the destruction of the towns of Maaret al-Numan and Saraqib in rural Idlib and the mass displacement of their population are a clear example of the Assad regime’s tactics that it pursued during its military campaign from early December 2019 to March 2020.
In a report issued on Friday, the Network said that the destruction of whole towns and villages, the mass displacement of their people, and the mass looting of civilians’ property is aimed at punishing those demanding or dreaming of political change.
The report indicated that the mass displacement of the people of these towns is organically linked to the process of destruction, stressing that the regime’s deliberate destruction of these two towns was aimed at forcing the people into submission and forcing them to flee.
The Network said it had recorded at least 882 attacks on vital civilian centers by the Assad regime and Russian forces on and around Idlib in the period between April 26, 2019 and May 29, 2020, including 220 places of worship, 218 educational centers, 93 medical centers, 86 civil defense centers, and 52 public markets.
It said it also recorded 30 attacks involving the use of cluster bombs on and around Idlib in the same period, 27 of which were carried out by the Assad regime forces killing 38 civilians, including 18 children and nine women, as well as wounding 36 others, while three were carried out by the Russian forces.
The monitoring group said that the Assad regime air force dropped no fewer than 4,849 barrel bombs on and around Idlib in northwestern Syria in the same period.
It also said the Assad regime used incendiary munitions in at least 21 attacks, nail-filled bombs in seven attacks, and chemical weapons in one attack.
The Network called on the UN Security Council to issue a binding resolution holding to account those responsible for the crime of mass forced displacement, preventing further forced displacement, and explicitly supporting the right of forcibly displaced persons to safely return to their homes. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)