France condemns Idlib offensive
PARIS – Reuters
France on Sept. 28 condemned bombings by Syrian government forces and its allies against civilian populations in Idlib and Hama province, and called on Russia to abide by commitments it had made to de-escalate violence in the area.
“These acts violate international humanitarian law,” foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in a statement.
“France calls on Russia and the allies of the Damascus regime to respect the commitments made in Astana and to prevent these air strikes from continuing,” she added.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Sept. 28 denied allegations that Russian and Syrian jets had killed at least 150 civilians in over a week of bombing, saying it had been careful not to hit civilians.
Russian and Syrian jets killed at least 150 civilians and injured dozens in over a week of heavy bombing that shattered a six-month halt in intensive aerial raids in opposition-held northwestern parts of Syria, opposition rescue workers said on Sept. 27.
The renewed bombing campaign came after an array of jihadist rebels led by the former al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria last week waged a wide-scale offensive against government-controlled areas in northern Hama.
“We have pulled 152 bodies and we have rescued 279 civilians since the Russian and regime bombing campaign,” said Salem Abu al Azem, a senior rescue worker from the opposition-run Civil Defense in Idlib, adding bodies were still being pulled out of the wreckage of buildings flattened by air raids.