On Thursday, October 26, 2023, Syrian regime forces fired heavy shells at multiple neighborhoods in Idlib city. The shells struck a number of targets, including Iqra Sharia Institute damaging its outer perimeter fence, and hit an area beside al-Bara’em al-Namouthujiya School heavily damaging the school’s outer perimeter fence. One shell also struck al-Rahman Mosque, partially destroying the mosque’s buildings and damaging its interior furnishing. Other shells landed near al-Zaher Baibars School, the Mohammad Najib Faleh School, and al-Tawhid Mosque. The attacks also killed one civilian and injured Nine others, including two women and a number of media activists. The area is under the control of armed opposition factions and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) notes that through these attacks, Syrian regime 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.