Northern Syria “On the Brink of Humanitarian Catastrophe”

The Russian air force and the Syrian regime are causing a new humanitarian disaster in northern Syria, opposition website Alsouria Net reports

Assad’s forces and Russia continued their most violent campaign against areas under Syrian opposition control in northern Syria since the Sochi agreement for the demilitarized zone, as vital and service facilities for residents were targeted. Aid organizations described the situation by saying “we are on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.”

The Syrian Civil Defense on Thursday said that an entire family—father, mother, and two of their children—had died, while their third child was the sole survivor of the family following “an aerial bombardment with high-explosive rockets in the early hours of yesterday that targeted a hatchery containing displaced people on the outskirts of the town of Kansafra in Jabel al-Zawiyeh in the western Idleb countryside.”

The Civil Defense added on its Twitter account that “a woman and child were also wounded during a bombardment with four barrel-bombs which struck civilian homes, a bakery and a kindergarten in the village of Ablin south of the city of Ariha.” It said that “the wounded were treated and some of the homes evacuated and transported to safer locations.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the air strikes inside the truce zones established by the Sochi agreement were continuing with “the heaviest escalation ever entering its third day.”

The Observatory also said that Russian aircraft attacked with five air strikes in various parts of Idleb.

For her part, Khawla Sawah, vice president of the US-based Union of Medical Care and Relief organization, said in a statement, according to Reuters, that medical facilities were being evacuated, adding that “we are on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.”

Last Tuesday saw Assad regime forces returning to using barrel bombs for the first time since the Sochi deal between Turkey and Russia.

In light of this bombardment, the United States called on Russia and Assad’s forces to respect their commitments and end the escalation in Idleb and its surroundings.

The State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that the United States is alarmed by the escalation of violence in Idlib and northern Hama. “The violence must end,” Ortagus said. “The United States reiterates that any escalation in violence in northwest Syria will result in the destabilization of the region. We call on all parties, including Russia and the Syrian regime, to abide by their commitments to avoid large scale military offensives, return to a de-escalation of violence in the area, and allow for unhindered humanitarian access to address the humanitarian disaster created by the ongoing violence,” he added.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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