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Syrian regime forces bomb Abu Ayyoub al-Ansari Mosque in western rural Aleppo governorate, January 4, 2023

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On January 4, 2023, Syrian regime artillery forces fired multiple shells at al-Abzemou town in western rural Aleppo governorate. One of the shells struck Abu Ayyoub al-Ansari Mosque in the town’s al-Janoubi neighborhood, partially destroying the fence around the mosque, and slightly damaging its interior furnishings. 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. An estimated 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 have a safe and stable return.

Syrian regime forces bomb Abu Ayyoub al-Ansari Mosque in western rural Aleppo governorate, January 4, 2023