A man, identified as Khaled al-Zuhair from al-Safsafiya village in western rural Hama governorate who worked as a heavy bulldozer driver, was killed on November 16, 2023, when Syrian regime forces fired an anti-tank guided missile at the bulldozer he was driving near Taftanaz town in eastern rural Idlib governorate. The rocket killed Khaled instantly and completely destroyed the bulldozer. 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 this attack, 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 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.