2.5 million Syrian civilians trapped under skies filled with Russian and Regime war planes

Syrian Regime and Russian airstrikes have killed 33 people and injured 160 people in northern Syria over the past week.

For the tens of thousands of men, women and children who have been forcibly displaced from their homes in rebel held areas of eastern Ghouta recently taken by the regime, the suffering continues in Idlib. These airstrikes have particularly targeted Kafr Nabl and Idlib City, as well as Southern Homs.

Qusai Ismael, a humanitarian activist from Ariha in Idlib, said: “Regime air forces, backed by Russia, are targeting cities and towns in Idlib. Just yesterday a public market in Kefranbel was targeted, killing one civilian and injuring three. Clashes between the armed groups add to this. We are not safe.

With 2.5 million people now in the northern provinces, including 1 million IDPs from across Syria, there is critical pressure on resources and a shortage of humanitarian aid.  

Ahmad Sami, who is displaced from Al-Zabadani, said: “Living in Idlib is just as hard as living under siege. We are struggling to find jobs in order to keep a roof over our heads and buy food for our families. More than 80% of the IDP families rely on what local organisations and NGOs can give them.”

Mohammed Khani, a member of the Saraqeb local council in Idlib, said: “Local organizations and NGOs can barely cover the needs of these people. A normal family of five needs at least 7000 SYP (10-15$ a day) to live here but most are surviving on 3000 SYP per day – everyone is getting in to debt or working overtime just in order to survive.”

In addition, fighting on the ground between Hayat Tahrir al Sham and Ahrar Al Sham, has meant the important work of local NGOs, including a Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) hospital, has been suspended.

The Syria Campaign’s Director, Anna Nolan, said: “The world has watched while one civilian a minute has fled to Idlib since January 2016. More than 2.5 million civilians are now trapped under skies filled with Russian and Regime war planes. The 33 civilian lives lost this week are further proof that the Syrian regime, backed by Russia will continue to bomb all areas outside their control. While the world debates the veracity of the chemical attack, the conversation about real protection for civilians has once again been forgotten.”

Syria Civil Defence data collected between 12 April and 18 April 2018

  • 33 people have been killed and 160 injured in Idlib province by Regime and Russian aerial attacks between 12 April and 18 April 2018
  • 40,000 people have been forcibly displaced from Ghouta to Idlib
  • 10,000 people have been forcibly displaced from Ghouta to Azaz