24 Civilians Killed Including 16 Children
SNHR has released a report entitled: “Russian Warplanes Target IDPs in Idlib city” in which the Network documented a massacre that took place in Idlib city on March 15, 2017, where most of the victims were IDPs from Aleppo suburbs.
The report draws upon accounts by city residents, eyewitnesses, survivors, were we included three accounts. The report says that SNHR explained the purpose of interviews for the eyewitnesses who gave us permission to use the information they provided in this report without offering or presenting any incentives. Also, SNHR tried to spare them the agony of remembering the violation as much as possible. We also gave guarantees to conceal the identity of any witnesses who preferred to use aliases. Also, the report includes verified pictures and videos which showed the great destruction that resulted from the bombardment, while other pictures showed some of the children victims who were killed by the bombardment.
According to the report, the targeted areas were civilian areas, where no military centers or weapon warehouses for armed opposition factions or Extremist Islamic groups were found during or even before the attack.
The report says that fixed-wing warplanes that were evidently Russian at 03:25 fired two missiles in no less than five minutes. The two missiles targeted two sites of a close proximity, where first missile targeted a multi-floor residential building in al Qosour neighborhood in the southern parts of Idlib city, which resulted in the killing of 24 civilians including 15 children, 1 infant, and 6 women (Adult female. Most of the victims were IDPs from Aleppo suburbs. Additionally, the building was heavily destroyed. The second missile fell nearly 100 meters away from the same residential building.
The report stresses that the Russian regime has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, they violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
Furthermore, the report notes that the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, Russian forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps as Resolution 2254 has been adopted and no pledges to cease the indiscriminate bombardment operations have been made. All the parties to the conflict must respect the Resolutions and adhere to the rules of the international humanitarian law.
Also, the report emphasizes that the Syrian case must be referred to the International Criminal Court and all those who were involved must be held accountable. In addition, the norm of the Responsibility to Protect must be implemented in order to save the Syrians’ lives, culture, and arts from being destroyed, theft, and sabotaged. And the sanctions have to be expanded to include the pillars of the Syrian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in perpetrating crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.