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Syrian regime forces bomb the Grand Mosque in Ma’ar Ballit village, S. Idlib, February 10, 2024

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On February 10, 2024, Syrian regime artillery forces fired multiple shells at Ma’ar Ballit village in the Jabal al-Zawiya area of southern rural Idlib governorate. One of the shells directly struck al-Masjid al-Kabir ‘the Grand Mosque’ in the village, partially destroying its building and minaret, and moderately damaging its interior furnishings. Other shells also landed near civilian homes, partially destroying some of them. 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 be ensured a safe and stable return to their homes.

Syrian regime forces bomb the Grand Mosque in Ma’ar Ballit village, S. Idlib, February 10, 2024