An airstrike by Syrian regime ally, Russia reportedly killed five civilians in what is believed to be an opposition stronghold in the Northwest of Syria. Reports claim that the airstrike created a massive crater of rubble near a two-storey home that is flanked by an empty outdoor swimming pool.
Four out of the five civilians killed in the Russian airstrike belonged to the same family. According to the representative of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, the victims included a man, his wife, and their two little girls. The monitoring group has stated that it relies on the flight patterns on the planes to determine who carried out the airstrike.
As Bashar al-Assad's regime moves ahead with a deadly offensive. The Idlib region has witnessed a sharp uptake in violence. The violent offensive comes despite the fact that the Russian government had arranged ceasefire that was even backed by Turkey that supports the opposition.
Idlib is home to almost three million people and is under the control of the jihadists. Even small parts of the neighbouring province of Aleppo and Latakia are under the control of Jihadists. Fighting in the Idlib region began on Wednesday and has since reportedly claimed the life of 28 people, all civilians including eight children.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that 58-pro regime fighters and 67 opposition fighters were killed in the fighting. Russia has denied launching any combat missions since the start of the ceasefire on January 9.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the ongoing Syrian crisis with numerous civilian casualties despite the announcement of a ceasefire. Michelle Bachelet said that though the pursuit of a ceasefire is to be encouraged, it has failed to protect the lives of civilians.
Bachelet has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the ‘de-escalation’ zone of Idlib. The ceasefire agreement of January 12 has been unable to put a leash on violence and deaths in the Idlib province. High Commissioner’s office said that both pro-Government forces and non-State armed groups have continued to fight with an apparent disregard for international humanitarian law and the protection of all civilians.