UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern that the war in Syria “is no longer on the international radar”
GENEVA, July 26. /TASS/. More than 100 civilians have been killed in airstrikes in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Aleppo in the past ten days, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement on Friday.
“At least ten different locations (eight in Idlib and two in rural Aleppo) have experienced civilian casualties as a result of airstrikes in the past ten days alone, causing a minimum of 103 civilian deaths, including at least 26 children,” she said.
These are civilian objects, and it seems highly unlikely, given the persistent pattern of such attacks, that they are all being hit by accident,” Bachelet noted, pointing out that “intentional attacks against civilians are war crimes, and those who have ordered them or carried them out are criminally responsible for their actions.”
Bachelet expressed concern that the war in Syria “is no longer on the international radar.” “Now, airstrikes kill and maim significant numbers of civilians several times a week, and the response seems to be a collective shrug, with the Security Council paralyzed by the persistent failure of its five Permanent Members to agree to use their power and influence to stop the fighting and killing once and for all,” she pointed out.According to the UN high commissioner for human rights, “influential parties, including those that agreed to reduce hostilities as part of the de-escalation agreement, should urgently use their influence to halt the current military campaign and bring the warring parties back to the negotiating table.” “It is essential that there is a cessation of hostilities in order to give the on-going political negotiations room to breathe. The alternative is just more mindless death and destruction in a war without end,” Bachelet emphasized.
Syrian de-escalation zones
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey – the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire – de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in May 2017. They include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Eastern Ghouta, as well as some areas in the Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. Damascus took control of three of the four zones in 2014, but the zone covering the Idlib province and certain parts of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces is still controlled by terrorists from the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia).