Right now in Idlib, families are fleeing for their lives as the Syrian regime and Russia attack towns and cities with renewed ferocity. Since the escalation started on June 5th 2021, more than 89 civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured.
To our horror, children are severely impacted by this brutal escalation. In less than two months, 27 children have been killed including 13 in just one weekend. Many families are spending Eid al-Adha mourning the death of a child or afraid that shells and bombs will fall on their homes.
To add to the suffering, the Syrian regime and Russia are systematically targeting the White Helmets in double-tap attacks, where bombs and missiles hit rescue teams arriving at the site of an attack to save civilians.
Since the escalation started, two White Helmets volunteers have been killed: Hammam Al-Asi and Daham Al-Hussein. 16 volunteers have been injured, and two rescue centers were completely destroyed, along with life-saving equipment used for search-and-rescue missions. This targeting of humanitarians is a gross violation of international law.
Idlib’s 3.5 million residents, half of whom have already been displaced from other parts of Syria, have nowhere left to go. As the world watches silently while cities that resisted both Assad and extremists are destroyed and emptied of their residents, humanitarian workers are warning of a catastrophic scenario. But it can be stopped.
The most immediate priority is stopping the attacks on civilians and restoring the ceasefire in Idlib. The ceasefire, which was brokered by Turkey and Russia in March 2020, gave civilians a much-needed respite after months of brutal attacks. It gave the White Helmets space to focus on rehabilitation work and essential services to restore a sense of normalcy, and allowed medics to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and oversee vaccinations.
Governments around the world, including all members of the UN Security Council and the European Union, must consider all possible measures to directly pressure Russia and the Syrian regime to stop the attacks on civilians and rescue workers.
Sign the petition to demand urgent steps to stop the bombs, restore the ceasefire, and end the deliberate targeting of humanitarian workers.