More than 26 civilians were killed yesterday in air raids carried out by warplanes that are most likely to belong to the Syrian regime on the village of Hass in the southern countryside of Idlib.
Moaz Al-Shami, a media activist who visited the site of the massacre immediately after the air raids, said that “Syrian warplanes carried out seven air raids on the town of Hass and specifically on a group of schools and institutes there at 11.30am yesterday. More than 26 people including 12 children were killed and 40 others were injured, some critically.
Residents of Hass are still shocked and are puzzled about why a group of schools and institutes, and the town as a whole, were targeted considering that they have been living in peace for many months.
Videos circulated by activists on social media networks show a number of children weeping and refusing to return to their classes. Other pictures showed dead children lying on the ground along with their books and school bags.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces issued a statement saying that the “Warplanes belonging to the Syrian regime and Russia carried out an attack with very explosive missiles carried by parachutes on a group of schools and a local market in the town Hass in the Idlib countryside. 26 people were killed as a result and most of them were students and teachers. In addition to this, many people were injured.”
The Coalition added that “Russia and the regime’s continued attempts to intentionally, deliberately and systematically target centres offering services confirms that there are attempts to kill as many people possible in order to weaken the rebels and force them to accept compromises outside the political process”.
On his part, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdulrahman said that 22 civilians were killed and dozens more were wounded in six air raids, and that it is not known whether the raids were carried out by the Syrian regime or Russia. He continued by saying that the raids targeted a school and its surroundings in the Idlib countryside, and that the dead included seven children who were inside the school that was damaged by the raids.