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UN condemns barrel bomb attacks in Syria's Idlib

A view of damaged buildings after airstrikes by Assad regime, Russia kill 11 civilians in Bauon village of Idlib, de-escalation zone, Syria on 7 December 2019. [Ahmet Z. Hatib/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations (UN) yesterday condemned recent air ad barrel bomb attacks by the Syrian and Russian air forces in Syria's northwestern city of Idlib.

"Despite repeated assurances that warring parties only strike legitimate military targets, attacks on health and education facilities continue," the special adviser to UN Special Representative for Syria Geir Pedersen, Najat Rochdi, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying.

Rochdi pointed out that the recent attacks had left dozens of civilians killed, "including children and women." She called for "an immediate de-escalation," calling all involved parties "to respect the international law obligations, including the one to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure."

"An unimpeded and safe humanitarian access to civilians in need must be guaranteed to allow the UN and its humanitarian partners to continue to carry out their critical work across northern Syria," the UN official stressed.

The attacks came amid winter rains and dropping temperatures, and as flooding was threatening internally displaced peoples' camps and settlements. Almost 40 people have been killed in recent attacks since the start of December.

READ: US Senate approves new sanctions on Syria, Iran, Russia over war crimes

According to the local administration, Idlib is home to some 2.4 million locals and 1.3 million internally displaced persons. If aggression by the regime and its allies continues, both Turkey and the European continent face the risk of another refugee influx.

Since Moscow and Ankara reached a deal in September 2018 under which acts of aggression in Idlib are supposed to be prohibited, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Europe & RussiaInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyriaUN
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