Dozens Dead After Air Attacks On Rebel-held Idlib

Russian warplanes have launched strikes on the Rebel-held Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Believing to have wounded over 50 people, the Middle East Eye (MEE) have reported that these attacks took place on the 7th June, weeks after the Syrian military regained control of Damascus.

Omar-al Hanoubi, a media activist was recently interviewed by the MEE. Quoted as saying that three to four missiles were fired, the activist recounts a distressing story of a botched rescue. According to him, paramedics and a small group of individuals attempted to rescue people caught in the rubble. However, another strike was fired which resulted in the deaths of the would-be saviours. He went on to describe a majority of the victims being ‘women and children.’ Neither Russia or Syria have taken responsibility for these attacks.

Highlighting the hostile environment Syrians live in on a daily basis, these lethal strikes have been labelled by the SOHR as ‘the largest massacre so far in 2018.’ The northern province of Idlib is seen by many to be a ‘safe zone’ for citizens due to a deal being struck by Iran, Turkey and Russia in 2017. However, this is not the case due to the reported casualties in Idlib. Adding to the tension is Russian President Vladimir Putin who has recently voiced his intention for Russian troops to stay in Syria, for as long as Moscow deems necessary. Ever since the 2017 Geneva Peace Talks, chances at peace have been dwindling. The lack of communication and openness to peaceful discussions has become more apparent. Meanwhile, the citizens of Syria suffer.

Russia has been conducting air operations since September 2015 as part of the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Whilst the international community have been condemning the actions of Bashar al-Assad’s government, the death toll continues to rise. I Am Syria estimates the death toll from the conflict to be over five hundred thousand people. As the number rises, so do the chances of Syrian citizens being harmed.

International priorities such as security remain paramount issues, as does the human rights of civilians. This includes children and other vulnerable groups of people such as displaced women. Attention must be given for positive changes to occur. Nations must take responsibility for their actions and advocate for the well-being of others. It is crucial for nation states to be open to productive discussion, so progress can be made. Tragedies such as the airstrikes in Zardana must not happen. However, they will occur again due to governments who dismiss human rights. International bodies such as the United Nations have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the people of Syria. This will mean putting pressure on member states such as the Russian Federation. We must not forget the trials and hardships that occur in Syria due to unscrupulous governance.

As of now, it seems there is no end in sight for the atrocities committed in Syria.

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