[10 January 2018] The Near Year has witnessed a dangerous intensification of the violence in Syria, with at least 155 civilians killed in the first ten days of 2018. Syrian human rights monitors warn of mounting atrocities in Syria’s designated de-escalation zones, with schools, hospitals and rescue centres in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta confronting systematic targeting by Syrian regime and Russian warplanes.
The recent surge in the violence – taking place just weeks before Russia’s proposed ‘Sochi’ conference – has caused a mass exodus of Syrian civilians, with an estimated 113,000 Syrians fleeing Idlib in recent weeks. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein issued a statement today condemning the intensifying assault.
“We are witnessing a clear intensification of Russia’s military strategy, with systematic attacks on civilian facilities perpetrated with total disregard for international law”, warns Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairperson of the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). “While Russia talks of ‘peacemaking’ in Sochi, it is committing war crimes on the ground in Syria. No Russian ‘peacemaking’ initiative is credible as long as Russia continues its blitzkrieg against the Syrian people.”