By Othman Moqbel
Idlib is heading into the fourth month of unrelenting violence. Increasingly we are seeing the targeting of more and more civilian infrastructures; schools, hospitals and homes. The civilian death toll is rising at an alarming rate. But it shouldn’t be. Syria Relief are saying loud and clear: people going about their everyday lives, doctors, teachers, school children are #NotATarget.
The UN reported on Friday that 450 civilians have been killed since the Idlib military campaign started on April 30th. Nearly 100 of those deaths have been in the last two weeks. 440,000 people have been displaced. Those that stay cannot go to the hospital, send their children to school or even sleep in their beds without fearing that death could rain down on them from the skies.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet has 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,” she added. “Intentional attacks against civilians are war crimes, and those who have ordered them or carried them out are criminally responsible for their actions.”
The UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has said that if the “bloody onslaught” in Idlib doesn’t stop that “it has the potential to create the worst humanitarian disaster the world has seen so far this century.”
Last week alone, two of the schools run by Syria Relief were hit by airstrikes, killing at least 9 people, including an 11-year old girl. Four of our schools have been hit since the siege of the governate started.
For us at Syria Relief, the plight of Idlib is very real. We are seeing our staff and our beneficiaries are seeing this violence daily, some are falling victims to it. However, some of the world is turning off. In the UK they are consumed by Brexit, the new government, luxuries that the people of Idlib could only dream of. Some in the UK are bored of Syria, however the people of Idlib cannot afford us to be bored. They need our help.
We are asking for all actors in the conflict to stop targeting civilians and we are asking everyone to please donate to our Idlib emergency appeal now:
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