In a recent report released by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, shocking details have emerged about the heinous atrocities committed by the Syrian-Russian alliance forces in northwestern Syria. The report, titled ‘**Syrian-Russian Alliance Forces Have Committed Violations that Constitute Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Through Unlawful Attacks Against Northwestern Syria**’, highlights the indiscriminate and targeted attacks that took place between October 5 and October 12, 2023. According to the report, approximately 45 civilians, including 13 children, lost their lives, and 51 vital civilian facilities were ruthlessly targeted during this period.
The 18-page document meticulously outlines the gravity of the offenses committed by the Syrian regime and Russian forces. It specifically delineates how the attacks were concentrated in various areas, including Idlib city and its surrounding regions in eastern, southern, western, and northern rural Idlib, as well as in western rural Aleppo governorate. The report explicitly addresses the use of cluster munitions and incendiary ammunition, signifying an alarming disregard for international humanitarian law.
Disturbingly, the report brings to light the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure and essential facilities crucial for the well-being of the affected communities. Schools, medical facilities, rescue centers, mosques, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps were among the civilian structures that were subjected to relentless assaults. The use of such weaponry in densely populated areas has not only resulted in the loss of innocent lives but has also induced a sense of terror and fear among the already vulnerable displaced population.
Moreover, the report underscores that these actions are blatant violations of several international laws and resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2254, which explicitly call for the cessation of indiscriminate attacks. It emphasizes the need for strict punitive measures to be imposed on all parties involved in the war in case of non-compliance with any established ceasefire agreements.
In the wake of these revelations, the report strongly urges the UN Security Council to take immediate action by implementing a robust resolution to establish an immediate ceasefire in Idlib. It advocates for the referral of the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court, emphasizing the need for accountability for all those implicated in these heinous crimes. Additionally, the report calls upon the UN General Assembly to hold the Syrian and Russian regimes accountable for the wanton destruction and loss of innocent lives, underscoring the importance of preventing Russia from exploiting its position as a permanent member of the Security Council to evade justice.
The international community is urged to respond swiftly and decisively to these violations, ensuring the protection of civilians and the prevention of further humanitarian catastrophes in Syria. The report serves as a clarion call for the world to uphold the principles of justice and human rights, reiterating that no entity, regardless of its stature, should be immune from accountability for crimes against humanity and war crimes. It is imperative that concrete steps are taken to bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and to pave the way for lasting peace and stability in the region.