The tragedy of Syrian citizens continues with a new violation of the ‘de-escalation zones’. At least four civilians were killed and five were wounded yesterday by the shelling of a market in Azaz, north of Aleppo, reportedly carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The shelling led to the deaths of Ali al-Qabou, Ragheb al-Khaled, and Shaaban Hilal, all three of whom were displaced from Saraqib city in the Idlib Governorate. Another civilian, Umair Musa al-Najjar, displaced from the town of Kafr Rumah, also in Idlib, was killed. Five others, including a child, were wounded. Several of them remain in critical condition.
The shelling caused the destruction of homes and other property.
At the same time, the Syrian regime and Russian forces continued their own escalations in the fourth ‘de-escalation zone’, covering Idlib and its environs. Russian airstrikes are reported to have occurred over the past few days.
Yesterday, Tuesday 22 November, shelling was reported to have hit villages and towns to the west of Aleppo, and in the towns of al-Bara and Banin in the Jabal al-Zawiya area, in the south of the Idlib Governorate.
In May 2017, Turkey, Russia and Iran announced the establishment of a ‘de-escalation zone’ in the greater Idlib region and other areas. However, Syrian regime forces and allied militaries have launched attacks on the zone since, despite a ceasefire agreement signed in March 2020.
The civil war in Syria has continued since 18 March 2011, when the regime began a violent crackdown on protests condemning human rights violations in the country.
Since then, the Syrian regime has granted citizenship to numerous members of Iran-affiliated groups in return for their participation in the war.
Millions of displaced people continue to live in refugee camps across north and northwest Syria, many of whom fled the regime’s bombing of their villages, towns and cities.
International humanitarian law prohibits the targeting of civilians in all circumstances and stresses the need to protect their physical and psychological integrity.