‘Kill box’: Rebels say Russia, Syria don’t discriminate between combatants, civilians in Idlib airstrikes

by WorldTribune Staff, September 29, 2017

More than 150 civilians have been killed this week in airstrikes carried out by Russia and the Syrian regime in Idlib province.

Buildings and roads in ruin after airstrikes were carried out in Idlib, Syria on Sept. 25. / Anadolu Agency

Despite the Russian Defense Ministry’s insistence that its warplanes do not target civilian areas, anti-Assad rebels and emergency workers in Idlib and neighboring Hama province say the area has been turned into a “kill box” with constant airstrikes that do not discriminate between combatants and civilians, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Sept. 28.

VOA cited the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said the airstrikes have steadily increased since Sept. 19, “killing and injuring more people every time they raid.”

The Observatory said some airstrikes have been targeting the bases of Islamic State (ISIS) and rebel factions, but in many cases civilian property and infrastructure have been hit, including clinics and schools.

The Observatory has documented more than 1,280 airstrikes in the past week with 156 civilian casualties, including 38 children under the age of 18. The Observatory also said it documented “at least 394 people injured with different severity, some of whom suffered permanent disabilities, others still seriously injured.”

One resident, Maher Abu Hassan, pleaded via social media to the UN, Russian President Vladimir Putin and others, asking for Idlib to be spared a slow death and instead to be wiped out quickly in a nuclear strike. “We call on all of you to drop a tactical nuclear bomb, one whose impact covers the entirety of Idlib, end to end, to mercifully spare us from this slow death. We’d like to die all at once, one death.”

Britain’s special representative for Syria, Gareth Bayley, condemned the Assad regime airstrikes, saying the reports of civilian casualties and the targeting of clinics and schools are credible. He accused the regime and Russia of being “in contravention of international humanitarian law.”

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