Syrian regime used incendiary weapons on civilians in Idlib: White Helmets
The use of incendiary weapons is prohibited against civilians and is restricted against combatants under international humanitarian law.
Sunday's attack targeted a school used as a shelter for displaced Syrians, as well as nearby homes. At least one of the civilians was burned by the incendiary munition, while the others were injured from missile shrapnel.
The day prior, regime forces also targeted a camp housing Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Idlib with incendiary weapons without any casualties.
According to the civil defence, the regime used the Russian 9M2SS Grad rocket in the attacks. The rocket is filled with small hexagonal containers of a thermite-like mixture designed to create large fires.
"The use of these internationally banned weapons threatens the lives of civilians, increases the loss of lives and property, undermines livelihoods and increases instability that imposes more displacement," a spokesperson from the Syrian Civil Defence told The New Arab.
The spokesperson said that the regime used incendiary weapons in northwest Syria on nine occasions in 2023, leading to the death of three children.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) identified the use of cluster munitions and incendiary weapons by the regime in October. Cluster munitions are bombs filled with dozens or sometimes hundreds of smaller bombs that sometimes remain in the environment and only explode when disturbed.
One hundred twelve countries ban the use of cluster munitions for their long-term detrimental effects on civilians.
The Syrian regime regularly conducts bombing campaigns against the northwestern province of Idlib, the last remaining province in the hands of anti-Assad forces. Northwestern Syria is controlled by the former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which the regime has vowed to eliminate.
About half of the province's over four million inhabitants are displaced from other areas of Syria and live in poverty.
The regime stepped up its bombing campaign in October of last year following a drone attack on a military academy in Homs, which left at least 120 dead.
The regime blamed the attack on HTS, and its subsequent bombing campaign displaced 120,000 in northwest Syria, according to the United Nations Officer for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Over 1,000 civilians were killed in 2023 in Syria, with the Syrian regime and allied militias being responsible for the most amount of deaths.
The UN has called for a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, a call that has so far gone unheeded by all parties.