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Sibling children killed in Russian forces’ shelling of Kansafra village in Idlib on August 20

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At dawn on August 20, 2021, artillery forces which we believe were Russian, accompanied by a Russian surveillance plane overhead, fired shells, equipped with the Krasnopol laser guidance system, at Kansafra village in Jabal al Zaweya in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate. One shell hit a house on the eastern outskirts of the village, killing four sibling children and damaging the house’s structure.

SNHR notes that this shelling breaches the ceasefire agreement reached following consultations between the Turkish and Russian presidents, which came into effect on March 6, 2020.

Through this action, Russian forces have, without doubt, committed another violation of Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2254 which prohibit any further indiscriminate attacks, as well as violating the rules of international humanitarian law which stress the distinction between civilians and combatants. Attacks of this nature spread terror and panic among civilians, leading them to flee their lands and homes in an attempt to reach safety, and forcibly displacing them, with the number of internally displaced persons within Syria currently standing at approximately 6.5 million Syrian citizens in total. The international community should put pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to force them to compensate the displaced victims, rehabilitate homes and vital centers, support the process of political transition, and press all parties to pursue implementation of political transition according to a strict timetable which must not exceed six months, thus enabling millions of IDPs to return homes.

Exclusive photo for SNHR shows the bodies of victims killed in a Russian ground attack on the village

Exclusive photo for SNHR shows remnants of a shell fired at the village by Russian forces

Exclusive photo for SNHR shows destruction caused to the house hit by one of the shells, which caused the children’s deaths