Department of Media and Communications
February 23, 2019
Children and women were killed in artillery shelling by the Assad regime on the town of Ma’aret al-Nu’man on Friday. The shelling targeted various areas in rural Idlib and Hama while reports confirmed the use of high-explosive rockets in the shelling.
The regime’s shelling has not stopped since the signing off on the Sochi agreement. The shelling is causing civilian casualties and widespread destruction in the area on a daily basis. The Assad regime and its allies are avidly seeking to keep the situation in turmoil and to prolong the state of anxiety and chaos.
The deliberate, continued targeting of civilians and the bloody attacks against them risk easing the pressure on Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militant group. We do not have the slightest doubt that HTS’s takeover of large areas of Idlib province from the mainstream armed opposition groups was part of the Assad regime’s plans as such a development directly serves the regime’s goals.
Civilians are the losing side in all these nihilistic equations and the exchange of roles by terrorist parties having closely intertwined interests, namely the Assad regime and its supporters on the one hand and HTS on the other.
We are not asking the international community to carry out an impossible mission. There is already an agreement on a political solution in Syria. This is the track that must be supported and followed to the end without further delay. This is the only path that was outlined in UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the only one capable of saving Syria and the region from the terrorism of the Assad regime and all other terrorist organizations and militias.