74 civilians killed in Syria in September


Smoke billows following Russian airstrikes near Syria's Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Türkiye, Sept. 27, 2022 (AFP Photo)


A total of 74 civilians were killed in war-torn Syria in September, including 21 children, three women and seven torture victims, while the Bashar Assad regime’s attacks continue to displace people, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said Saturday.


The SNHR said that of the 74 deaths, eight of the civilians were killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces, seven were killed at the hands of the Russian forces, six civilians were killed at the hands of the PKK’s Syrian wing the YPG, one civilian killed at the hands of U.S.-led Coalition forces, and 52 civilians, including 18 children and three women, killed at the hands of other parties.


The report said further that the SNHR documented in September “a massacre due to a Russian airstrike on Hafsarja village in the western suburbs of Idlib, which breached the Turkish-Russian cease-fire agreement of March 2020.”


“The attack killed seven civilians, including two children, and wounded 11 others.”


The Idlib region bordering Türkiye is home to about 3 million people and it is one of the last pockets to oppose Damascus.


The Idlib de-escalation zone was forged under an agreement between Türkiye and Russia. The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire agreements, which have been frequently violated by the Assad regime and its allies.


A fragile truce was brokered between Moscow and Ankara in March 2020 in response to months of fighting by the Russia-backed regime. Almost a million people have fled Assad's offensive yet the regime still frequently carries out attacks on civilians, hindering most from returning to their homes and forcing them to live in makeshift camps.


For years, the Assad regime has ignored the needs and safety of the Syrian people, only eyeing further gains of territory and crushing the opposition. With this aim, the regime has for years bombed vital facilities like schools, hospitals and residential areas, causing the displacement of almost half of the country’s population while adopting policies to make their lives more difficult.


The report said it had evidence that some of the attacks were deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.


“These attacks, along with indiscriminate bombardment, have resulted in the destruction of facilities and buildings.”


Russian attacks killed 8,700


Some 8,700 civilians died in attacks carried out by Russian forces in Syria since 2015, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported similarly on Friday.


Since Sept. 30, 2015, Russian forces have been fighting alongside Assad's forces against opposition groups.


Some 2,112 children were among the 8,700 civilians killed in Russian airstrikes and shelling attacks against Syrian areas controlled by the opposition forces, the SOHR added.


In its report, released on the seventh anniversary of Russia's military intervention in Syria, the observatory said civilian facilities such as schools, markets and hospitals bore the brunt of the attacks.


"In total, and since the deployment of Russian forces in Syria in 2015 until 2022, some 21,106 people have been killed," the observatory head, Rami Abdel-Rahman said.


Since it started its war in Ukraine this year, Moscow has withdrawn many of its troops from Syria to Ukraine. Nevertheless, attacks on the Syrian civilian population continue, the Britain-based observatory said.


After more than 11 years of civil war in Syria, Assad's forces and pro-Iranian supporters are believed to control around two-thirds of the country again, thanks in part to Russia's intervention.



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