Regime forces kill 4 civilians in Idlib, burn decares of farmland

Published 03.06.2019 00:04

The Bashar Assad regime has continued to terrorize the northwestern province of Idlib through constant airstrikes and bombardments. In the latest attacks, four civilians have reportedly been killed, while farmland in the southern parts of the province have been burned using the banned substance napalm. According to the White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense group, the air attacks killed civilians in the Khan Shaykhun district and neighboring villages, like Fleifel. A Syrian opposition group claimed that the attacks were made by Russian warplanes that took off from Russia's Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia. It can be easily determined whether an attack was carried out by the Russians or regime air forces in Idlib. The regime's Russian warplanes are outdated and are not able to carry out high-altitude attacks.

They descend, get closer to the target and only attack wide areas. Since there are no pinpoint attacks and a large amount of ammunition, the damage spreads to a wide area. Furthermore, regime warplanes make a lot of noise while descending.

The Russian warplanes' sound, on the other hand, does not reach the ground at all since they do not get closer to the target at the time of the attack. The first sound that is heard during Russian attacks is the explosion of the bombs. Another difference between the two is that while regime warplanes get closer to the targets one by one, Russian warplanes take off in groups of at least two planes and attack. From the remaining ammunition that was used in the attacks, it can be understood that the outdated ones belong to regime forces, while the modern ones belong to the Russians.

Apart from the airstrikes, the Bashar Assad regime eradicates the labor of farmers in the region by burning plantation areas within the borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone. Regime forces have been accused of using napalm in the northern and western rural areas of Hama and Idlib's southern rural areas, preventing farmers from collecting their products, which eventually causes thousands of civilians to starve.

In 1980, the U.N. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) banned the use of napalm bombs on civilians. Labeled as "hunger bombs" by locals, hundreds of decares of farmland have been damaged by the bombings, while some products turned to ash due to fires. According to information provided by the White Helmets, other than attacks on farmland there have been over 24 attacks on health facilities, six attacks on civil defense centers, 29 attacks on schools and much more on other civilian infrastructure in the past month, where the number of fatalities has exceeded 250 during the Bashar Assad regime's indiscriminate attacks targeting civilians and residential areas. Civilians had to flee their hometowns in both northern rural Hama and rural southern Idlib.

As a result, over 307,000 people have been displaced in the past two months with the majority in the past four weeks, and over 200,000 of them are living in the open with no shelter, as internally displaced sites close to the Turkish border are extremely overcrowded and are already running at double capacity. Regime forces have been using the pretext of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants holed up inside Idlib to carry out intermittent attacks on the city, intensifying their attacks since April 26. While heavy airstrikes have worsened the humanitarian situation, Bashar Assad regime troops and opposition forces have been struggling for territorial gains in Idlib.

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