Air Raid killing Civilians in Idlib, Syria

Government forces bombarded Idlib, Syria Government forces bombarded Idlib, Syria Anas Al-Dyab/AFP/Getty Images

29 May 2019

As Syrian Government Continues Bombarding Idlib, Civilian Deaths Rise

For the past month, the Syrian government and Russian-backed Syrian forces have continued to bombard Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in northwestern Syria.On 29 May, a government raid  killed at least 14 civilians.

Idlib is a city in northwestern Syria currently held by jihadists. There are groups in Idlib that are backed up by Turkey. In addition, the Turkish military has established military positions in the area under agreements with Russia. The reason for the attacks, including government barrel-bombing, Russian Strikes with limited ground assaults, is the Russian-Turkish deal to create a demilitarized zone from which jihadists were required to withdraw. Turkey is responsible for this task, yet Russia is running out of patience as Turkey fails to curb Tahrir al-Sham. It is believed that the government’s goal is to seize two highways to Aleppo that run to the south of Idlib city through rebel-held areas. Furthermore, Russia aims to shield its Latakia air base in the northwest from rebel attacks.

The United Nations (UN) criticized world powers for taking no action in attempting to stop the attacks in the past few months and claims that it is the reason for the more recent attacks. After the air raid on 29 May, there was no official government strategy announced in reaction to the attack. However, it is predicted that the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its allies are to take gradual  steps in the area, but stopping short of causing a conflict with Turkey. No extra aid would be provided from the United Nations Security Council as 22 hospitals and clinics had been hit by airstrikes since April 28. Thus, aid agencies have been forced to suspend their work in certain areas.

This conflict in Syria has taken the lives of more than 370,000 persons since 2011 and an end is not in sight.


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Author: Yu-Jie Liao

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