The Syrian government and its ally Russia are deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, Al Jazeera reported United Nations Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet saying yesterday.
Bachelet explained how she is “horrified” by the surge in fighting in north-west Syria and called for humanitarian corridors to assist the largest exodus of civilians since World War II.
“No shelter is now safe. And as the government offensive continues and people are forced into smaller and smaller pockets, I fear even more people will be killed,” Bachelet said.
She also called on Friday for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province, saying the latest ceasefire attempt had yet again failed to protect civilians, Reuters reports.
The regime’s latest offensive, which is backed by its ally Russia, has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee for their lives and left people homeless during the bitter winter cold.
“I’m begging for a place to shelter my kids,” Fared Alhor, a local media activist, shared a video from Idlib. “The bombs didn’t kill them, and I don’t want them to die of the cold.” he added.
This is how people live in the camps because of the crimes of #Assad, #Russia and the international community. This is seen in an international silence. @FARED_ALHOR #Afrin Camp #Aleppo from @syriastream #AleppoUnderFire #SpeakUpForAleppo #SpeakUpForIdlib #Syria https://t.co/eNuonhKxo2 pic.twitter.com/Y9cbQxFo41
— Joanna Wren (@1962Wren) February 17, 2020
Meanwhile, a Turkish delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal met Russian diplomats for a second day of talks in Moscow yesterday, with no agreement being signed on the situation in Idlib.
Today, Russian jets intensify air strikes on rural Aleppo and Idlib injuring civilians, while opposition groups targeted the town of Saraqeb with rocket-propelled grenades, according to war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
— #المرصدالسوري #SOHR (@syriahr) February 19, 2020
The White Helmets civil defence group from Idlib said three civilians were killed in the Russian attacks and nine others were injured.
While the international community continues to ignore the horrific humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, we call on all people to be the voice of the voiceless in #Idlib. A message from the volunteer White Helmet Laith. #Syria #SpeakUpForIdlib pic.twitter.com/r6awHkbn2Z
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) February 18, 2020