Russian Airstrike On Syrian Village Kills Four Children

On Friday a Russian airstrike in Syria’s rebel-held northeastern Idlib region killed seven civilians, including four children from the same family. 13 other civilians, including eight children, were injured in the Russian attack on a poultry farm hosting refugees and nearby civilian housing on the outskirts of Al-Jadida village in Idlib’s western countryside.

Alongside the airstrike, the villages of Hmeimat, Shaghouret and Al-Mozara in Idlib’s southern countryside were shelled by Syrian regime artillery. The humanitarian organisation Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, reports that a civilian in Al-Mozara was injured, in addition to damage to residential buildings in all three villages.

The day before, regime and Russian forces targeted civilian homes in the town of Ebnabh, near the city of Ariha in southern Idlib, causing property damage but no injuries. According to the Syrian Civil Defense, the Thursday attack was the 216th attack by Russian or regime forces it has responded to since the start of 2022, with the attacks up to then resulting in the deaths of 24 civilians, including 8 children and 4 women, as well as the injury of 45 civilians, including 13 children and 5 women.

The attack preceded a press briefing by senior American Department of Defense officials later on Friday, with Russia reportedly having now committed nearly 85% of its military to the war in Ukraine, including the redeployment of forces from its other borders and overseas deployments like Syria. The massacre is a grim reminder of the civilian harm that even a “diminished” Russian presence is capable of, as well as of over a decade’s worth of precedent for ongoing Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

In a statement issued in response to the Al-Jadida attack, the Syrian Civil Defense said: 

“Yet another atrocity committed passes without international accountability. The displaced, who continue to flee from one scene of death only to find themselves in another, are let down by the world. The terrorist crimes committed by the Russian warplanes today in the village of Al-Jadida, west of Idlib, is a continuation of the policy of killing, displacement, and criminality practiced by Russia in its support of the Assad regime in murdering Syrians. It is proof that Russia can never be the bringer of peace and safety to the Syrians as it so claims to be. The international community must put an end to Russian terrorism.”

A day later the Syrian Civil Defense released a follow up statement condemning the international community’s failure to hold Russia accountable for its attacks on displaced persons.