The Assad regime’s warplanes have escalated their bombardment of Idleb province as part of the military campaign they began against the area last April, which has now killed hundreds of civilians and displaced tens of thousands.
On Sunday, the Syrian Civil Defense said that the regime’s warplanes bombarded the city of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idleb with internationally-banned weapons in raids that used incendiary, cluster and vacuum missiles.
The Civil Defense said that six civilians were wounded and that massive fires broke out in homes and on agricultural fields when Khan Sheikhoun and its environs were struck with 24 cluster rockets, 24 rockets with incendiary material and 22 standard rockets from Assad forces’ checkpoints.
The same source issued videos that shows the bombardment of Khan Sheikhoun with incendiary rockets and announced that it had worked to extinguish the fires caused on farmlands from Khan Sheikhoun to Maarat al-Nouman.
Warplanes are carrying out raids across most areas in Idleb and especially in the southern countryside in the villages and towns within the demilitarized zone agreed upon between Russia and Turkey in the Russian city of Sochi.
The regime and its allies’ bombardment of the area coincides with a land military campaign, which has only achieved limited gains, and which has led to an increase in the pace of the regime and its allies targeting residential districts in the area.
On Saturday, four civilians were killed, including a woman, when warplanes struck various areas in the Idleb countryside, including Khan Sheikhoun, the village of Fleifel and the village of Sheikh Damas.
Human Rights Watch has documented 22 attacks with incendiary weapons in five Syrian provinces by Assad regime forces or Russian warplanes in 2017 while at least 68 attacks by the same forces were documented between 2012 and 2016, in addition to many other cases of severe harm to civilians.
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.