At least 103 civilians including 26 children have been killed in the past 10 days due to airstrikes by the Syrian government and its allies on schools, hospitals, markets, and bakeries, Reuters reported on Friday. citing United Nations human rights chief.
“These are civilian objects, and it seems highly unlikely, given the persistent pattern of such attacks, that they are all being hit by accident,” Michelle Bachelet on Friday said in a statement.
She also underlined that the rising death toll had been met with “apparent international indifference”.
At the end of April the Syrian government’s offensive against the rebel enclave in northwest Syria, the last area of active insurgent opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, began.
Assad argued that his government was responding to violations of a truce that included Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and the surrounding areas.
The “de-escalation” deal was made on September 2018 by Turkey which supports some rebel groups and Assad’s main ally Russia, with the aim of reducing warfare and bombardment in the territory.
War monitoring groups say that the offensive has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes or temporary shelters to seek refuge near the border with Turkey, in addition to killing hundreds of civilians.
Allegations that they have targeted civilians or civilian infrastructure was denied by both the Syrian government and its Russian ally, whose airpower has been significant to Damascus’ military victories in recent years.
The forces of the president have been backed by Russian warplanes in their struggle to take back Idlib and Hama, the last rebel strongholds left in the war-torn country.
The civil war in Syria broke out between the forces of President Assad and anti-government rebels on March 15, 2011.