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The Syrian Emergency Task Force Condemns Deadly Attacks by the Assad Regime and Russian Forces

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WASHINGTON D.C., – Over the past week, Russian forces and the Assad Regime have intensely escalated bombings of villages in the Idlib, Aleppo, Western Hama, and Latakia Governorates, violating the ceasefire agreement in Northwest Syria. Over 74 air and ground attacks were documented over the course of 48 hours, between Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, June 12, alone, SETF’s Syria Watch App provided a real time documentation of the following attacks:

(1) Artillery shelling by Regime forces targets the town of Ariha in Idlib’s southern countryside, killing a civilian. (2) Russian warplanes launch missile strikes on Sarjah village in Jabal al-Zawiya, south of Idlib. (3) Russian warplanes launch missiles in Moataf village in Jabal al-Zawiya, amid intense flight of reconnaissance planes. (4) Shelling from Regime, PYD, and PKK controlled areas on Afrin, north of Aleppo, in conjunction with Russian bombing of Jabal al-Zawiya areas. (5) Missile attack from Assad Regime, PKK, and PYD controlled areas targeting Al-Shifa hospital in the city of Afrin. (6) Russian forces launch air strikes on Sarjah in Jabal al-Zawiya. (7) Over 18 victims and 35 civilians injured in the bombing of Al-Shifa Hospital and residential neighborhoods in Afrin. (8) Assad forces stationed at the surrounding checkpoints bombard with heavy artillery the villages of al-Enkawi, Mansura, and al-Qahira in the western Hama countryside. (9) Russian warplanes bomb the vicinity of Mantef town in Jabal al-Zawiya, south of Idlib, killing a woman and an unborn child.

Saturday attacks claimed the lives of innocent men, women, children, unborn babies, and medical workers. At least 20 civilians died at the hands of the Assad regime and Russian forces, including 3 white helmets. Furthermore, over 35 civilians were injured, and 1,867 displaced. The casualties include those murdered at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Afrin, Syria, which was directly targeted by two missiles, hitting the emergency and labor/delivery rooms, respectively. It is relevant to note that attacks targeting hospitals constitute a violation of international law under Article 19 of the First Geneva Convention of 1949. These continuing attacks show blatant disregard for international human rights law and the value of human life. Despite these actions, the Assad regime remains a recent addition to the World Health Organization (WHO) board. SETF strongly condemns the recent attacks and normalization of the Assad regime through such appointments. We also condemn the silence of the international community and press with regards to these atrocities against innocent civilians.

We remember the Afrin martyrs:

1. Zaloukh Hanan Muhammad Afrin, 85 years old

2. Zainab Sheikh Daoud Afrin, 21 years old

3. Yusef Kilij Khushan Afrin, 2 years old

4. Amin Qushou, Afrin, 55 years old

5. Unidentified

6. Muhammad Osama Mamdouh Homs, 33 years old

7. Dana Al-Manfoukh

8. Ghaith Abbas, 23 years old

9. Unidentified

10. Samira Al-Sufi, Damascus, 41 years old

11. Mahmoud Darbas Homs, 35 years old

12. Unidentified

13. Unidentified

14. Fadhl Hajj Ibrahim

15. Laith Al-Hamwi

16. Lian Mustafa Al-Amiri

17. Lana Mustafa Al-Amiri

18. Anwar Ahmed Al-Daher

19. Majid Walid Kbeish

Press Contact:
Celeste Brevard
Director of Communications Syrian Emergency Task Force
[email protected]