The brutal onslaught the Assad regime and Russian forces have launched in the provinces of Idlib and Hama is causing increasing international outcry as it has already killed and injured hundreds of civilians and forced some 300,000 more out of homes.
The head of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria warned Thursday that an all-out conflict in Idlib province would very likely increase human rights violations and generate a humanitarian catastrophe.
Paulo Pinheiro told a news conference that the current aerial and ground offensive by the Assad regime and its allies is “a serious escalation” resulting in scores of civilian casualties and the displacement of over 150,000 people in just one week.
Since the beginning of the year, the commission has been investigating deadly attacks against civilians by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib and northern Hama, including on medical facilities, markets, schools and other civilian infrastructure, Pinheiro said.
Kuwait, Germany and Belgium made a formal request to the current President of the UN Security Council, Indonesian Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani to hold an emergency session on Friday to discuss the situation in Idlib.
The EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday slammed the targeting of schools and hospitals by barrel bombs as violating the International Law.
Mogherini said that the European Union stressed the need to punish those responsible for these violations as she warned that the lives of about three million civilians in Idlib are at risk.
Mogherini stressed that Russia and Turkey, as guarantors of the Sochi agreement, have a duty to ensure the implementation of the Idlib agreement calling for a ceasefire in Idlib and its countryside.
President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdulrahman Mustafa, on Thursday called for the launch of an international initiative to put an end to the Assad regime and its allies’ war crimes in the provinces of Idlib and Hama. The regime’s onslaught in the region has so far killed and injured hundreds of civilians as well as destroyed schools, hospitals and vital civilian facilities.
David Swanson, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that “the United Nations is concerned about the escalation of violence in north-western Syria, which has resulted in the loss of property and homes for many civilians.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)