Idlib Schools under Bombardment in the New School Year

Idlib Schools under Bombardment in the New School Year

Enab Baladi Enab Baladi
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The rubbles of Kafranboda School in Hama's northern countryside- 28 September 2017 (Enab Baladi)

In the new school year, southern Idlib schools have not received any students due to the Russian aerial bombardment, which all the cities and towns in Idlib’s Governorate and Hamas northern and eastern countryside have been witnessing for the past a few days.

Since its first intervention on the behalf of the Syrian Regime, in September 2015,  Russia has focused on targeting vital sites, including medical centers and schools committing massacres,  such as the school massacre in the city of Has, in November 2016; back then, 20 children died as a result of attacking the school with thermobaric rockets.

Affiliated with the Syrian Interim Government, the Education Directorate in Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria, issued a statement, on Saturday (September 30), closing the schools in the city and its countryside due to Russian bombardment.

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The Directorate commented on the issue saying that “due to the continued vicious attacks by the Russian aggression and the Syrian warplanes, schools will be suspended for three days”.

The suspension of schools includes all the educational organizations, complexes and offices of private and public education for a period of three days starting on Saturday, 30 September.

In an interview with the Director of al-Habit town’s media office, Mohammed Abu Ras said that the town was subjected to severe shelling by the Russian and Syrian warplanes, targeting the town with more than 42 airstrikes, mostly with concussion missiles.

The bombardment focused on residential neighborhoods and vital facilities; more than three rocket attacks targeted al-Khansa and al-Yarmouk schools.  Al-Resalah School was also a subject of more than five raids, which destroyed its building.

The shelling did not only focus on schools in Idlib and its countryside, but it also targeted the cities and towns in Hamas north and eastern countryside. The Education Directorate of Hama al-Hurra announced “stopping all its schools, including the ones in Kafranboda, Tal al-Halawa, in addition to the schools in al-Habit, Maaret Harmeh, and Maarazita in Idlib”.

In Hama’s Countryside, the “Syrian Civil Defense” has launched a campaign to rehabilitate schools and remove the rubble because most of the schools in the villages of Hama and Idlib were bombed earlier; the campaign was stopped by the continuous air raids.

Enab Baladi obtained a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, which records a total of 46 attacks on civilian vital centers. The Russian forces conducted 36 of these attacks and targeted eight medical facilities, five schools, 12 civil defense centers; Assad’s forces conducted the other 10 attacks, which targeted two medical facilities, a school and four civil defense centers. The report mentions that the Russian forces used cluster munitions.

The report also documented at least 714 air raids on Idlib Governorate, along with at least 13 barrel bombs thrown by the Syrian Regime’s helicopters in eight days, targeting several vital civilian facilities, including hospitals, civil defense centers, schools and power transformers.

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