On 11 May 2020, Amnesty International reported that during the past year, Russian-backed Syrian regime forces had carried out 18 attacks on medical facilities and schools in northwest Syria. The report said that these acts amount to “war crimes”.
The UK-based human rights group said the attacks include indiscriminately targeting civilian infrastructures between 5 May 2019, and 25 February 2020, in Idlib, Hama, and western Aleppo.
“Evidence shows that, in their entirety, the documented attacks by Syrian and Russian government forces entailed a myriad of serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report said. “These violations amount to war crimes.”
Among the documented attacks were Russian air strikes near a hospital in Ariha on 29 January 2020 that demolished at least two residential buildings and killed 11 civilians.
Amnesty also blamed the Syrian regime for an attack using internationally banned cluster munitions on a school that killed three people in Idlib city on 25 February 2020.
“Russia has continued to provide invaluable military support – including by directly carrying out unlawful air strikes – despite evidence that it is facilitating the Syrian military’s commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity”, Amnesty’s MENA Regional Director Heba Morayef said.