Syrian and Russian air attack on Idlib school worst since war began, says UN
Airstrikes in rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday were possibly the deadliest attack on a school since the Syria war began, a top UN official has said, describing the incident as an “outrage” and a possible war crime, The Guardian reported.
The strikes by Syrian or Russian warplanes killed at least 35 people, most of them schoolchildren, rescue workers and a monitoring group have said.
“This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime,” said Unicef’s executive director, Anthony Lake.
“This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago,” he added. “Children lost forever to their families … teachers lost forever to their students … one more scar on Syria’s future. When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?”
Wednesday’s raids hit a residential area and a school in Hass village, the Syrian civil defence rescue workers’ network said on its Facebook account.
UN chief calls security council’s failure on Aleppo ‘our generation’s shame’
Syria’s civil war pits the president, Bashar al-Assad – backed by Russia, Iran and Shia Muslim militias from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan – against an array of mostly Sunni Muslim rebel groups, including some backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the US.
A report on Syrian state TV quoted a military source saying a number of militants had been killed when their positions were targeted in Hass, but made no mention of a school.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said: “It’s horrible. I hope we were not involved. It’s the easiest thing for me to say no, but I’m a responsible person, so I need to see what my ministry of defence is going to say.”
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.