ARIHA: Serangan udara rejim dan Russia di barat laut Syria mengorbankan 15 penduduk awam termasuk ramai kanak-kanak, sejak peningkatan serangan dua sekutu itu meragut ratusan nyawa, mulai April lalu.
Idlib dan beberapa kawasan jiran Aleppo, Hama dan Latakia berada di bawah kawasan kumpulan pengganas yang diterajui bekas sekutu Al-Qaeda Syria, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
Wilayah itu sepatutnya terlindung daripada operasi kerajaan mengikut perjanjian zon bebas serangan yang dipersetujui September lalu, namun ia kian menjadi sasaran pengeboman rejim dan sekutunya Russia, sejak tiga bulan lalu.
Di Kawasan Ariha, Idlib, tujuh kanak-kanak adalah antara 11 penduduk awam yang terbunuh dalam serangan Syria. Serangan itu menyasarkan dua bangunan kediaman yang turut mencederakan 28 mangsa lain, kata Pemerhati Hak Asasi Manusia Syria (SOHR).
Salah seorang yang maut adalah kanak-kanak lelaki kecil yang ditemui di bawah runtuhan, muka beliau dalam keadaan berdarah dan badan mangsa dalam keadaan berdebu. - AFP
He also witnessed rescuers digging through the rubble of a collapsed roof for more victims, while a member of the White Helmets moved the body of a young man into the back of a pickup truck.
Ariha made headlines after it was pummelled Wednesday by warplanes that claimed the lives of 10 civilians, according to the Observatory, when a picture of three sisters struggling for their lives went viral on social media networks.
The picture showed two dust-covered girls trapped in the rubble and clutching their baby sister by her shirt as she dangles from a bombed out building.
One of the girls later died of her wounds while the other two are hospitalised and fighting to stay alive, according to local medics.
Russian air strikes on northern Hama province Saturday that hit an ambulance killed three rescuers while another child died in Syrian regime bombardment elsewhere in the Idlib region, the Observatory said.
Save the Children said on Thursday that the number of children killed in Idlib over the past four weeks had exceeded the number slain in the same region in the whole of last year.
Air strikes by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia on the Idlib region have claimed more than 740 lives since late April, according to the war monitor.
The UN says more than 400,000 people have been displaced.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has documented 39 attacks against health facilities or medical workers in the area in three months.
At least 50 schools have been damaged by air strikes and shelling over the same period, it said.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Friday condemned “international indifference” in the face of the mounting death toll in Idlib.
“These are civilian objects, and it seems highly unlikely, given the persistent pattern of such attacks, that they are all being hit by accident,” Bachelet said.
“Intentional attacks against civilians are war crimes, and those who have ordered them or carried them out are criminally responsible for their actions,” she said.
The region under attack is home to some three million people, nearly half of them already displaced from other parts of the country.
The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.