On October 21, 2023, fixed-wing warplanes believed to be Russian fired multiple missiles at a hilly area on the outskirts of al-Quneitra village in western rural Idlib governorate. Some shrapnel from the bombardment struck civilian houses in the village, injuring a girl. One of the missiles also landed near the Quneitra Elementary School, slightly damaging its perimeter fence. The area is under the control of armed opposition factions and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) notes that through these attacks, Russian forces have again unequivocally violated 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 and homes, and to forcibly displace them. 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.