Dallas, Texas- UOSSM denounces the airstrikes on civilian areas of Idlib and Aleppo yesterday, January 21, within the de-escalation zone. The attack killed at least 35 civilians and injured countless more. Today, the airstrikes continued leveling areas of Maarat Al Nouman and Aleppo. In the past 10 days, 73 civilians were killed including 27 children and at least 11,700 families have been displaced.
In the strongest terms, UOSSM condemns these attacks against civilians. UOSSM demands the international community act immediately to protect millions of civilians, and that they mobilize emergency rations of shelter, food, water and medical care for the underserved population.
Last year, the UN counted 82 attacks on medical centers, leaving the medical infrastructure decimated in Idlib and unable to handle another escalation of violence. The winter weather in Idlib is currently near freezing, and rainy, exposing hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people to the harsh conditions without adequate shelter. Today, it was reported that an IDP encampment was hit by an airstrike killing two people.
There are over 3.5 million people in the Idlib governate and 1 million people in the densely populated Idlib city. In December alone, over 300,000 people were displaced by violence in Maarat Nouman and the Idlib countryside. UNICEF estimates that 140,000 children have been displaced into the freezing winter in the past five weeks. The UN verified 145 attacks on schools and 82 attacks on medical infrastructure (90% in North Western Syria) in 2019.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, "The news from northern Syria is deeply disturbing and distressing. It is heartbreaking to witness the grief and suffering of innocent civilians, they are homeless and still being attacked with nowhere to go. We appeal to anyone, with a heart, with a conscience, to put an immediate end to the bloodshed, before we have a major humanitarian crisis on our hands."
*Numbers are constantly changing due to situation on the ground.