Statement condemning the targeting of civilians and civilian facilities in northern Syria

There has been a military escalation against civilians, vital centres and public facilities in the northern cities of Syria. Air raids and artillery shelling by the Syrian regime, Russian forces and allied militias have killed 18 people over the last three days and wounded dozens more. Over 100,000 people have been internally displaced, followed by warplanes that bombed their camps and new locations.

The Syrian regime and its allies directly bombed a Syria Civil Defence warehouse, taking the ambulances and excavation vehicles it held out of service. Warplanes also targeted grain stores and bombed medical facilities, including the only obstetric hospital in northern Hama.

The attacks focused on areas within the Idlib demilitarised zone in order to displace people who had already returned to their homes, as well as the villages of Hama and Idlib.

Yesterday, we witnessed the meeting of the Guarantor States in Astana, which included Russia, Iran and Turkey. These are the states that must urgently obey the de-escalation agreement in northern Syria, which was agreed upon at previous meetings. The ceasefire in the demilitarised zone and the cessation of the military assault of the regime and its allies must be guaranteed immediately. The United Nations and the Guarantor States of the Astana Process must take swift and practical actions to ensure the safety and security of more than 4 million civilians living in the region. They are primarily responsible for and required to ensure the protection of humanitarian aid workers, medical and civilian facilities and infrastructure.