A civil war has been raging in Syria for over nine years. The last large area under rebel control is the Idlib province. Assad troops target civilians; systematically bomb clinics and schools there – regardless of civilians. But the other side is also guilty of war crimes.
Syrian government troops have systematically attacked dozens of clinics, schools and markets in the rebel area around the city of Idlib in the northwest of the country, according to UN investigators. The targets were bombed from the air and from the ground, according to a report published in Geneva on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council. The government troops also used cluster munitions. Such attacks, regardless of civilians, would amount to war crimes, the investigators write.
The militant Islamist militia Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) accuses the report of arbitrarily bombarding government areas. More than 200 civilians were killed in the process. The terrorists have also ransacked and arrested, tortured and killed civilians. These crimes would also amount to war crimes.
The Syrian government and Russia launched an offensive in 2019 and intensified their attacks in December.
The region around the city of Idlib is the last major rebel area of the civil war country. It is dominated by the HTS militia. The Syrian government and Russia launched an offensive in 2019 and intensified their attacks in December. Since a ceasefire agreed by Russia and Turkey, the situation has calmed down since the beginning of March. Ankara supports the rebels in the conflict.
The investigated incidents suggested that attacks on clinics were part of the government’s war strategy, the report said. Witnesses also reported Assad troops target civilians on markets in the vicinity of which there were no military targets. In one case, investigators also blamed Syria’s allies Russia for airstrikes in an area near a hospital in the city of Ariha. At least 14 civilians, including a doctor, died in late January.
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