UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday said he was “appalled” by the attack that targeted a school complex in the town of Hass in rural Idlib on Wednesday, stressing that the attack “may amount to a war crime.” Ki-moon called for an immediate and impartial investigation of all attacks against civilians in Syria.
“If such horrific acts persist despite global outrage, it is largely because their authors, whether in corridors of power or in insurgent redoubts, do not fear justice. They must be proved wrong,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General told reporters.
At least 26 people, mostly schoolchildren and teachers, were killed in airstrikes on a school complex in Hass on Wednesday. High-explosive parachute-retarded bombs were used in the airstrikes, which were launched by Assad regime and Russian jets.
The United Nations envoy for global education, Gordon Brown, called on the UN Security Council on Thursday to “agree that the International Criminal Court prosecutor conduct an investigation into what I believe is a war crime.”
“The Security Council should ask the International Criminal Court prosecutor for an investigation into what is happening in Syrian schools and in Syria as a whole,” Brown told reporters.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Thursday said that either Russia or its Syrian ally was responsible for the attack.
“Who is responsible? In any case it is not the opposition because you need planes to launch bombs. It’s either the Syrians — the regime of [President Bashar] al-Assad — or the Russians,” Ayrault told a news conference.
“It’s yet another demonstration of the horror of this war, which is a war against the Syrian people, which we cannot accept.”
Riad Hijab, General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said that Russia’s actions have led bare its real intentions behind its direct military intervention in Syria on the side of the Assad regime. Hijab said that after destroying most of the hospitals and infrastructure in Syria, Russia has recently set schools as its new target.
In a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon following the attack in Hass, Hijab said that Russia is destroying Syria and its civilization and seeking to uproot the Syrian people from their land. He warned that Russia’s actions threaten to push Syrians towards extremism as they are left with no hope.
Hijab criticized the UN chief Ban Ki-moon for honoring the Assad regime’s envoy for 10 years of service, along with other ambassadors.
“Does not the Syrian people deserve to be honored for the steadfastness they have shown in the face of the genocidal campaign waged by the Assad regime as well as its Russian and Iranian allies for nearly six years ago?”, the letter said. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)