The Syrian Coalition accused the Assad regime and Russia of committing war crimes in rural Idlib as hundreds of civilians and FSA fighters have been killed and wounded in the airstrikes that have been ongoing for the past week.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition called on the international community to put an immediate end to “the ongoing criminal air raids” being carried out by the Russian invaders and Assad regime warplanes on civilian areas, hospitals, relief groups and the civil defense centers in Idlib and the surrounding and towns and villages. The Coalition stressed the need to hold those responsible for these crimes to account.
Activists said that 45 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in over 90 airstrikes by the Russian warplanes and helicopters of the Assad regime targeting 17 towns and villages in rural Idlib. The victims included 27 civilians who were killed in the town of Jisr al-Shughour which was hit by over 28 Russian airstrikes and six barrel bombs attacks by helicopters of the Assad regime.
The most violent airstrikes directly targeted civilian homes and vital civilian centers, activists said. They added that Russian jets hit Shaam Hospital near the town of Kafranbel with several bunker-buster bombs which completely destroyed the facility and put it out of service.
“These terrorist attacks fit an all-too-familiar pattern in which the deliberate targeting, killing and displacement of civilians and the destruction of vital facilities and hospitals is the preferred option for the Assad regime and its backers,” the Coalition said.
“The airstrikes targeting the Free Syrian Army groups are a clear attempt by Russia and the Assad regime to support the forces of terrorism and extremism.”
A FSA source on Monday said that Russian jets hit headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Tal Mardikh in rural Idlib with over 11 airstrikes, killing 44 fighters from Faliaq Alsham FSA group. The airstrikes also injured five civil defense workers and many civilians while they were trying to recover the bodies from the rubble.
The Russian and Assad regime air force have dramatically stepped up attacks on rural Idlib over the past week, hitting mainly hospitals, medical centers, and civil defense centers. At least eight hospitals were put out of service and damaged as a result of the airstrikes. Violent airstrikes also hit a civil defense center in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a power station in the town of Kafrien, a civil defense center in the town of Kafranbel, and a school housing displaced people in the town of Habeet. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)