Airstrikes on refugee camps in Syria kill large number of civilians


UNHCR

Airstrikes on refugee camps in Syria have killed a large number of civilians, demonstrating a failure to abide by the requirements of international humanitarian and human rights law, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said.

At least 30 people, including children and women, have died and more than 80 people survived with injuries when the warplanes attacked settlements in Idlib Governorate, northern Syria, according to media sources.

The planes attacked the informal settlement of Ghita Al-Rahmeh that was hosting around 2,500 people, who had already fled their homes in western and northern rural Aleppo since late last year.

"Several reports suggest that the attack was by Syrian or Russian warplanes."

Though it is unclear about who conducted the airstrikes, several reports suggest that the attack was by Syrian or Russian warplanes.

The attack was part of a fight that erupted in Syria a day after the US and Russia brokered a ceasefire for Aleppo, CNN reported.

UNHCR said that the victims of the strikes are among some 6.5 million internally displaced people in Syria, many of whom have been uprooted several times as the frontlines of conflict have shifted over the last five years.

A UN humanitarian official has called for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into the airstrikes.

UN humanitarian affairs under-secretary-general Stephen O'Brien said: "All parties to this appalling conflict should understand that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law."


Image: A 2013 file photo shows humanitarian aid reaching internally displaced people in the Azzas area of northern Syria. Photo: © UNHCR.