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The Syrian regime has resumed bombardment on the south of Idlib province this morning, targeting a school in Jarjanaz town, killing at least nine civilians, mostly children, news sources from the ground have confirmed.
Heavy artillery and shelling has also taken place in the towns of Al-Heesh and Al-Teh as well as Qalaat Al Madeeq and Al-Janabra in the north of Hama province since yesterday afternoon, with a continuous barrage of missiles sending civilians fleeing further north towards the Turkish border. The intense bombing has prevented the White Helmets civil defence unit from confirming the total death toll, but the death of a baby girl, Ummaya Al-Riz, was confirmed after her body was rescued from the rubble.
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) September 9, 2018
This morning, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces released a statement denouncing the latest attack, which also saw the destruction of two hospitals, putting them out of service.
“Russia, Iran and the Assad regime are now planning and implementing a new series of war crimes and crimes against humanity with the aim of displacing more Syrians and completing the project of demographic change in Syria without provoking any response by the international community and international legitimacy,” the statement read.
The group called on the UN Security Council to take immediate action to protect the Syrian people and call on all parties to abide by UN resolutions.
“The Syrian coalition stresses the right of the Free Syrian Army and all the Syrian people to defend themselves by all legitimate means,” it concluded.
Idlib City Council issued a similar statement last night expressing their commitment to stand with civilians and opposition fighters against the regime.
On Friday, regime allies Iran and Russia and opposition backer Turkey failed to come to an agreement on the Idlib issue at a tripartite meeting in Tehran, with Russia staunchly opposing any ceasefire to spare civilians. Turkey and the UN have expressed fear that a full-scale offensive could cause a humanitarian catastrophe involving tens of thousands of people.
Damascus, has been preparing a major assault to recover Idlib and adjacent areas of the northwest. The province is Syria’s last major stronghold of active opposition to the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.
Russia and the Syrian regime have described Idlib as a “nest of terrorists” and a “festering abscess” that must be resolved. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week called for militants to be “cleaned out” out of the north, before adding that fighters should be removed with “the least human cost” possible.
As the talks were held in Tehran, thousands of Syrians in the Idlib, Aleppo and Hama took to the streets in mass protests on Friday, vowing to continue their resistance and condemning the aggression of the regime and its allies.
According to the White Helmets, at least 28 civilians have been killed and dozens injured in airstrikes and attacks by regime forces and Russian warplanes in Idlib and Hama since the beginning of this month.
Omayah Alriz, a little angel was killed today after regime forces targeted her home with explosive barrel bombs in #Hbit in #Idlib southern countryside. #WhiteHelmets teams worked to recover her body, rescue other wounded and secure the area. #Syria pic.twitter.com/VCGkiyFuou
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) September 9, 2018