The Syrian regime has been violating the Idlib ceasefire for a month, causing tens of thousands of civilians to flee
A village of 31,500 people on the edge of the Idlib demilitarised zone is under almost daily shelling from the Syrian regime. For the past 12 days, in violation of the Russian and Turkish backed ceasefire, the regime has struck Jarjanaz village every day.
Jarjanaz, in the eastern countryside of Maarat Numan, was first attacked on 2 November when the market and main road to the village was hit by artillery shelling from a regime base 15 kilometres away, killing eight people.
Continuous shelling has destroyed homes and businesses and on 24 November a school was targeted killing six students and their teacher and injuring others, including two children, whose legs were amputated following the attack. Approximately 18 people have lost their lives in the past month.
The local authority reports that almost 90% of Jarjanaz’s residents have now fled the shelling to take shelter in surrounding villages.
Mahmoud Salloum, a school teacher from Jarjanaz left his home a week ago and is now living in a village near Maarat Numan. “We wanted to stay, but the shelling was getting worse,” he says. “As I was teaching, shelling broke the windows and the students got so scared, we took them to the ground floor and waited for it to stop before the terrified parents started coming to take their kids.
“The night before we left I hosted 70 of my friends and neighbours in a small underground room I have at my house, it was a horrible night, everyone was praying and crying. Families have fled and taken shelter everywhere. We’re trying to communicate with our relatives and friends to check on each other.”
Laila Kiki, Executive Director of The Syria Campaign, says: “Any violation of the agreement to protect the 3 million civilians living in northwest Syria is an injustice that needs calling out by Russia and Turkey who secured the halt to the aerial war against hospitals, schools and civilians homes just a few months ago. With troops building up around Idlib, we’re increasingly worried that the Syrian regime is getting ready for an all-out assault that will create a humanitarian catastrophe for millions. The world must not fail Syrian civilians yet again.”