A 13-year-old child, named as Islam Khaled al Saraqebi, from Ariha city in the south of Idlib governorate, died on October 22, 2021, from wounds inflicted on the morning of October 20 when Syrian regime artillery forces fired shells at a number of vital, densely populated areas in the city while he was on his way to school, with the bombing timed to coincide with students heading to school to begin the school day; this raises the death toll from the attack to 11 civilians, including four children and a woman.
SNHR notes that this shelling is a breach of the ceasefire agreement reached following consultations between the Turkish and Russian presidents, which came into effect on March 6, 2020.
Through this action, Syrian regime forces have, without doubt, committed another violation of UN Security Council resolutions 2139 and 2254 which prohibit any further indiscriminate attacks, as well as violating the rules of international humanitarian law which stress the distinction between civilians and combatants. Attacks of this nature spread terror and panic among civilians, leading them to flee their lands and homes in an attempt to reach safety, and forcibly displacing them, with the number of internally displaced persons within Syria currently standing at approximately 6.5 million Syrian citizens in total. The international community should put pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to force them to compensate the displaced victims, rehabilitate homes and vital centers, support the process of political transition, and press all parties to pursue implementation of political transition according to a strict timetable which must not exceed six months, thus enabling millions of refugees and IDPs to return homes.