Amnesty International said that it documented 18 attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces on medical and educational facilities in northwest Syria between February 25 and May 5, 2019.
In a report published on Monday, the rights watchdog said that “there is sufficient evidence to conclude that these acts form part of the Syrian government’s systematic, as well as widespread, attack on the civilian population and constitute crimes against humanity.”
Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said that “the latest offensive continued an abhorrent pattern of widespread and systematic attacks aimed at terrorizing the civilian population.”
“Meanwhile, Russia has continued to provide invaluable military support – including by directly carrying out unlawful air strikes – despite evidence that it is facilitating the Syrian military’s commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Amnesty investigated attacks on six schools in January and February 2020, which included the Assad regime forces’ use of air-dropped barrel bombs and ground-fired cluster munitions against two schools on 28 January and 25 February, respectively. The attacks came as part of a brutal onslaught the Assad regime launched in December with Russian support and forced about a million people from their homes.
The organization stated that among the attacks documented by Russian raids near a hospital in the city of Jericho on January 29, which destroyed at least two residential buildings and killed 11 civilians, the organization also recorded an attack by regime forces with internationally prohibited cluster bombs on a school in the city of Idlib on February 25, What killed three people.
A doctor who survived one of these attacks – three Russian air strikes that hit the vicinity of al-Shami hospital in Ariha on 29 January 2020 – told Amnesty International that the strikes flattened at least two residential buildings around the hospital, killing 11 civilians including one of his colleagues, and injuring more than 30 others. (Source: SNC’s Media Department)