On Wednesday, 1st of January 2020, ground-to-ground missiles were launched from the Abu Al-Zohour airbase, controlled by the Syrian governmental forces, attacking the surrounding of the “Salamah Abboud” school in Sermin town. The area is residential, and no military presence of any kind is based there, thus, no military necessity can be argued in attacking a civilian object represented in the school and its civilian surroundings. Moreover, the area forms a place of refuge for many displaced persons from Maarat Al-Numan, and the school itself is partially used to shelter many of them. The cluster ammunition loaded to the used missile add another proof of the deliberate targeting of civilians including those who escaped death throughout the ongoing military campaign against Idlib province by the Syrian forces and its allies. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the White Helmets have reported the incident and confirmed the abovementioned details.
Human rights Guardians believe that the aforementioned cases are extrajudicial killings, which are the responsibility of the Russian and Syrian alliance, and that they are crimes against humanity and war crimes, and an immediate investigation must be opened, holding those responsible accountable and compensation for the victims
And the above-mentioned attack also violated the principle of military necessity, which is provided for in Rule 50 of the ICRC’s Customary IHL Study, which stipulates that destruction of the property of an adversary is prohibited, unless required by imperative military necessity.
Human Rights Guardians also believe the above-described attack violated the principle of proportionality, provided for in Rule 14 of the ICRC’s Customary IHL Study, .
On28 , January Human Rights guardians filed a complaint with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings or by a brief or arbitrary procedures, requesting that the Syrian authorities must stop their attacks on civilians, open an immediate and transparent investigation into these cases, and bring those responsible to justice.
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