Idlib ‘s children await their death;
while the international community observes
20 September 2018
For the past month, the civilians of Idlib province have been waiting for a threatened all-out military assault on their homes and communities. After years of indiscriminate bombings and disproportionate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, the men, women and children of Idlib know only too well what to expect. So too should the international community.
The belligerents are already showing how this latest offensive in the war will be conducted. The first indications of the strategies to be employed by military commanders and the atrocities that will surely follow have already begun to appear with repeated attacks against not only military targets but against civilian facilities in the governorate.
The documentation of the past two weeks shows the following:
- Two hospitals in the village of Hass were bombed, as well as several medical facilities in Hama and Idlib.
- Four schools were attacked in the southern governorate of Idlib; the schools of Tariq ibn-Ziyad and Hassan al-Ali (in the town of Hayish), and the schools of Jerusalem and al-Nidal (in the town of Gergnaz) which were targeted by cluster bombs. Attacks on schools also extended to the northern countryside of Hama in the town of Al-Tmana’a. These attacks have forced educational institutions and learning centers to suspend classes in some areas for the safety of the children.
These attacks give clear indications that any military campaign in the northwestern regions of Syria will not exclude civilians and will have dire consequences, especially since the number of people living in this area reaches three and a half million civilians (57% of whom are women and children). If safe areas are not created for civilians, the world will soon be witnessing another humanitarian disaster.
Therefore, the Syrian organizations that worked on “Save Syrian Schools” project emphasize the need to stop the attacks and respect the international standards, including rules of international humanitarian law to protect the lives of those who don’t take part in the hostilities.
The “Save Syrian Schools” project organizations urge the fighting parties to:
- Stop all attacks on schools, hospitals and civilians;
- Fully respect international humanitarian law, including the exclusion and protection of civilians from the hostilities of the conflict. And to respect the international human rights law, in particular the Convention of the Rights of the Child;
- Immediately acknowledge local laws and military policies that prohibit attacks on civilians and all civilian objects;
- The use of internationally banned cluster munitions by the Syrian regime and Russia is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. Therefore, we call on these parties, to immediately cease using cluster munitions, as they are inherently indiscriminate due of their diffusive nature, and to sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions;
- Open impartial investigations into the attacks on schools, hospitals and civilian facilities mentioned in this statement.
- Center For Civil Society (CCSD)
- International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
- Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights (LDHR)
- Start Point
- Syrian Institure for Justice (SIJ)
- Syrian Network for Human RIghts (SN4HR)
- The Day After (TDA)
- Violations Documentation Center (VDC)
- Women Now for Development
To sign the statement at the following link: