Airstrike on Idlib school is war crime, one more scar on Syria’s future: UNICEF

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Destroyed buildings of Aleppo following airstrikes by pro-Assad forces. File photo

ARA News 

Geneva – The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that latest school bombing in Idlib Governorate may be “the deadliest” one since the outbreak of the civil war more than five years ago. Expressing shared outrage, UNICEF on Thursday declared that the bombing constitutes a war crime if it was deliberate.

Syrian warplanes on Wednesday launched several airstrikes within central Idlib Governorate. One of the bombs hit a primary school in Hass village. More than 22 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded. Most of the fatalities were children.

“This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said. “This is a tragedy. It is an outrage. And if deliberate, it is a war crime.”

Syrian media activist Omran Samasra told ARA News that the air raids directly hit the Hass school and several adjacent residential building. He said that choice of target “proves the regime’s intention, to kill as many civilians as possible.”

A doctor in one of Idlib’s makeshift hospitals told ARA News that his facility had received more than 16 wounded people after the airstrikes. 

“Some of them are in critical condition,” he said. “The death toll may rise in the next few hours as we are desperately short of equipment and staff.”

“We installed this field hospital to treat the wounded, but we don’t have sufficient equipment and medicine to provide the necessary treatment,” he added.

“Children lost forever to their families … teachers lost forever to their students … one more scar on Syria’s future,” Director Lake said, adding: “When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?”

Reporting by: Lorin Silo | Source: ARA News & Agencies 

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