Russian strikes kill 10 civilians in Syria's Idlib
A man walks amidst the debris of a building at the site of a reported airstrike on the town of Ariha in the northern countryside of Syria's Idlib province early on Jan. 30, 2020. (AFP Photo)
The Russian bombing target various areas, including a hospital and a bakery, in Ariha district, south of Idlib, late on Jan. 29, said the Syrian opposition's observatory.
The civil defense agency White Helmets said the attack wounded 37 others, as well.
The hospital is out of service after the bombing, it added.
Earlier on Jan. 29, Russian and regime forces carried out airstrikes in Idlib, killing at least eight civilians, local
Russian warplanes targeted the rural areas of the northwestern province de-escalation zone, according to the White Helmets.
The attack also injured 20 others, the observatory said.
UN says ‘most alarming reports’ coming from Idlib
Meanwhile, a senior U.N. official on Jan. 29 voiced his concern over "the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation" in Syria’s northwestern Idlib.
Mark Lowcock, under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in his briefing to the UN Security Council that "the most alarming reports" are coming from southern Idlib, "where hundreds of airstrikes by the government of Syria and its allies have been concentrated."
"The hostilities have escalated in recent days in the Idlib area, especially around Ma'arat al-Numan, Saraqeb and western Aleppo," Lowcock said, adding: "The fighting in these areas appears to be more intense than anything we have seen in the last year."
Citing the data of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), he said that at least 81 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed as a result of airstrikes and ground-based strikes in the week of Jan. 15-23.
"This total is in addition to the more than 1,500 civilian deaths that OHCHR has verified since the escalation began in late April," he said.
Lowcock also briefed the Security Council about the people fleeing the attacks.
"Most of the affected people – more than 99 percent of them – have been moving from southern Idlib to other locations in non-government-controlled areas," he said.
"Our assessment is that [at] least 20,000 people have moved in the last two days. Some 115,000 have left in the past week. Nearly 390,000 have fled in the past two months," he added.
Lowcock stressed that although Turkey and Russia announced a cease-fire on Jan. 12, the deal "did not hold".
Approximately 541,000 civilians have been displaced from the settlements of Idlib’s southern, southeastern, and Aleppo’s western and southern rural areas since Nov. 2019.
Due to the rising displaced population, the tent camps in Idlib fail to meet the needs of war-weary Syrians as there is not enough space to set up more tents. Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Some displaced people arrived in tent camps along Turkey’s borderline and some fled to areas of Peace Spring and Olive Branch operations which the Turkish army cleared of terrorists.