On January 12, 2023, Syrian regime artillery forces fired multiple shells at Kafr Ta’al village in the western suburbs of Aleppo governorate. One of the shells landed on and partially destroyed the Omar ben al-Khattab Mosque in the town center, inflicting moderate damage to the mosque’s interior furnishings.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights notes that the mosque is located in a residential neighborhood with no military objects in the surrounding area.
Through this attack, the Syrian regime has once again categorically violated UN 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 political transition process, and press all parties to pursue the implementation of a political transition according to a strict timetable which must not exceed six months, thus enabling millions of refugees and IDPs to return home.
Photo of the destruction in the mosque in the aftermath of the bombardment