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Families bury relatives after Syrian regime strikes Idlib

Families in Idlib bury relatives after Syrian regime retaliates for military academy drone attack
3 min read
06 October, 2023
Regime rockets and Russian warplanes struck more than 15 towns in northwest Syria on Thursday and Friday morning in apparent retaliation for a drone strike attack on a regime military academy.
Regime shelling came amidst a greater flare up in violence across Syria, with Turkish drones bombing in the northeast. [Getty]

Families buried their loved ones in northwest Syria on Friday, 6 October, after regime shelling left 13 dead and 62 wounded, in apparent retaliation for a drone attack on a regime military academy the day before that killed at least 120 people.

Regime rockets and Russian warplanes struck more than 15 towns in northwest Syria on Thursday and Friday morning.

The Syrian Civil Defense – also known as the White Helmets – said that 18 children and 13 women were killed in the shelling and that markets and schools were targeted during the bombardment.

"These terrorist attacks are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, which explicitly prohibits the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure," a statement from the White Helmets on Friday said.

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The intensified regime bombing came hours after a drone strike killed at least 120 during a regime military graduation ceremony in Homs on Thursday.

While no party claimed responsibility for the attack, a Syrian regime media blamed "terrorist organisations," an apparent reference to former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls much of northwest Syria.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said he was "deeply concerned" by the sharp escalation of violence in Syria on Thursday, as conflict erupted across three fronts in the country.

Pedersen urged "all sides to exercise the utmost restraint" and called for a nationwide ceasefire.

As the regime shelled northwest Syria, Turkey carried out its most extensive bombing campaign in months against Syrian Kurdish targets in the northeast of the country.

Turkey carried out at least 20 strikes, hitting power stations, oil fields and targets near refugee camps, according to the Rojava Information Center (RIC).

According to the RIC, at least eight were killed in the airstrikes, and there were power and water outages across northeast Syria due to damaged infrastructure.

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The Turkish bombardment was carried out after Turkey's Foreign Minister said that a suicide bomber who targeted government buildings in Ankara on Sunday was trained in northeast Syria.

The head of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls the area, denied the claim and said that Turkish targeting of civilian infrastructure amounts to a war crime.

The sudden eruption of violence on Thursday interrupted months of relative calm in Syria, where the 12-year-long civil war has lapsed into a low-intensity conflict with occasional flare-ups.

While airstrikes in one part of the country have become a grim daily reality, it is rare to have violence involving multiple parties to the conflict occur across the country at the same time.

"Today's developments further highlight that the status quo in Syria is unsustainable and that, in the absence of a meaningful political path to implementing UNSC 2254, I fear we will only see further deterioration," Pedersen added.