A 90-year-old elderly man, identified as Mohammad al-Hamda al-Bouzaid, and a 25-year-old woman, identified as Hanan Shehada al-Bouzaid, both from Abu Marou village in eastern rural Hama governorate, were killed on September 23, 2023, in an attack by Syrian regime forces who used a rocket launcher to bombard al-Iskan Camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sarmin city in eastern rural Idlib governorate. The bombardment also injured a man and a child to varying degrees, as well as burning a number of tents in the camp. The area is under the joint control of armed opposition factions and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) notes that Syria regime forces targeted the camp again an hour-and-a-half after the original attack, following the arrival of Civil Defense (White Helmets) rescue workers and media personnel to cover and document the bombardment. However, the second attack only resulted in material damage, with no casualties.
Through these attacks, Syrian regime forces have again unequivocally violated UN Security Council resolutions 2139 & 2254, both of which categorically prohibit indiscriminate attacks, as well as violating the rules of international humanitarian law on distinguishing between civilians and fighters. Such attacks aim solely to spread fear and panic among civilians, to drive them from their lands, homes and places of refuge, and to forcibly displace them, often repeatedly. It is estimated that 6.5 million people are currently internally displaced in Syria.
The international community must put pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to support a process of political transition. Pressure should be applied on all parties to compel them to launch such a transition within a period of no more than six months, so that millions of displaced people can safely and stably return to their homes.