İrem UZUN -TDO- Syrian and Russian planes have carried out deadly aerial strikes on schools, hospitals and markets in Idlib province that amount to war crimes, UN investigators said on Tuesday in a report that also condemned attacks by Islamist militants. They said that “indiscriminate bombardment” by pro-government forces, ahead of a March ceasefire brokered with Turkey, claimed hundreds of lives and forced one million civilians to flee, which may amount to a crime against humanity.
According to the Al Jazeera’s news, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said people endured "unfathomable suffering" during the campaign launched in late 2019 by pro-regime forces to retake the last remaining areas in the country held by armed groups. "Children were shelled at school, parents were shelled at the market, patients were shelled at the hospital, and entire families were bombarded even while fleeing," said commission chair Paulo Pinheiro.
"The commission has said time and again that Idlib is a ticking time bomb - and this report lays out what human suffering ensues after a partial detonation," Pinheiro said. "The people of Idlib are trapped, scarred by fighting and abuses by all sides over the course of the conflict, and forced to live in terror."
It documented 52 attacks that led to civilian casualties or damage to civilian infrastructure. The report included 17 attacks affecting hospitals and medical facilities, 14 involving schools, nine on markets, and 12 others on homes. These attacks were "marked by war crimes", the report said. "They foreseeably led to massive displacement, as civilians had no choice but to flee, and may amount to crimes against humanity," it added.