Just yesterday, more than 20 civilians were killed in the north west of Syria. The bombing has been intense since late April between the Syrian government and the opposition in this area. In fact, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) revealed that since the end of April 229 civilians were killed, 727 were wounded, 300,000 people forced to flee.
(photo credit to: Channels TV)
Background of the warfare in Northern Syria
In the area of Northwest Syria, from Idlib province to Aleppo province, it is occupied by Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham, which is affiliated with the Syrian al-Quaeda and the Syrian government has been on constant military operations to diminish these armed group’s power.
The Syrian government allied with Russia renewed the military campaign in late April and vowed to regain the territories lost to the opposition. Towns such as Kafr Halab, Armanaya, Fatterah, Tramla, Deir Sunbul, Hass and Hobait situated in the north west of Syria were drawn in this air and ground military operations.
The Syrian government’s military operations and the opposition’s military attacks have expanded to cause damage to innocent civilians. Local schools, hospitals and villages became victims to this ongoing war and bombing.
In the village, Kafr Halab, which situated on the border with Aleppo province, had civilians being killed or injured. It was cruel and unforgivable that unarmed civilians were killed during the holy month of Ramadan. This village was been shifted it control under the opposition and the government several times; hence, the Syrian government conducted bombardment and airstrike backed by Russia in order to retrieve it back.
The UN reported that the bombardment and military attacks have been causing 200,000 people fleeing from the region. The number is still increasing that innocent civilians displaced, forced to leave their house, seeking asylum and shelters.
What the international community acts
Journalists who risked themselves reporting and monitoring news in Syria were attacked. It is asserted that journalists were targeted by probably a T-72 Russian battle tank and even continued when they left the area.
A UK-based monitoring group, The Syrian Observatory for Human Right, continued its documentary work and reported casualties. A group based in Syria, The Violations Documentation Centre, composed of the activists inside Syria, reported cases of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
Russia and Iran are known for their involvement in Syrian War providing support to the Syrian government. The US, UK, France claimed to prioritise their assistance since the opposition group became dominated by the jihadists. Turkey, with its internal issue of the Kurdish rebels, was involved in the warfare along the borders of north west of Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel were also involved in Syrian War for their stance with Iran.
Our Concerns and View
ICRD agrees with Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, that there should be a concrete action to prevent warfare continued in Syria.
Since 2011, Syria has been so far very divided into different forces from the Syrian government: The Syrian rebels, The Jihadists forces, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkish military, The Islamic State Group and the Kurdish forces. It was due to fragmented forces involving in the Syrian War that caused the civil war prolonged and expanded to different powers participation.
ICRD mandates to the international community that a constructive war-prevention plan should be established. A strong negotiation and communication should be taken within different forces. Different forces should act on unified policy to stop the warfare and to stabilise the political condition in Syria.
ICRD stands with the humanitarian groups and journalists who risk their lives reporting the facts in Syria and hopes that peace can be delivered to Syria, tens of thousands of innocent civilians and all those who devote their lives in such war zone. The international community and the Syrian government should construct a plan immediately.
Author: Yung Lin, Researcher at ICRD