Up to seven civilians, including children, were reported killed, and 24 others injured in alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime forces airstrikes and/or artillery shelling on Idlib city on February 25th, 2020, according to local sources. Air and artillery strikes targeted Al Qusoor neighbourhood, several schools and the industrial area of Idlib.
Shaam Network said that on February 25th, 2020, “Russian and Assad’s air forces launched dozens of airstrikes amid artillery and missile shelling that targeted the city of Idlib, which led to seven martyrs and many wounded among civilians.”
The Syrian Civil Defence said an airstrike targeted a school in Idlib city. “The Syrian regime launches a new bombing campaign with airstrikes and cluster bombs on #Idlib City, and focuses on targeting schools in the city. The attacks killed four people including two teachers and a large number of injured, including children who were inside the schools.”
According to SMART News Agency, “shelling targeted the Al Baraem Typical Kindergarten, Al Manahel Kindergarten, Khaled Shaar School and Taha Gharib School, and artillery and missile shelling in the neighbourhoods of Al-Thawra, Jubara, Al-Jameh, Sheikh Al-Thulath and Al-Harah”.
The head of the Documentation and Information Department of the Specialized Surgical Hospital in the city, Abd Al Razzaq Ghafir, told SMART News Agency that the hospital had “received the body of a teacher and 12 wounded people, including six teachers, and the rest are children as a preliminary outcome, as there are a number of wounded in the operating room.”
According to Justice Organization, Muhammad Mahmoud Ismail and Hani Al Muhaimid, both males, were identified among the victims. The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that Al Muhaimid was a teacher. The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that at least three women were among those killed.
Sources told SMART that “the regime forces bombed schools with rockets loaded with cluster bombs, which are considered internationally prohibited weapons, without knowing where the rockets were launched so far”. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, four people were killed in the bombing of schools: two male teachers, a female teacher and a girl.
Edlib Media Center reported that in addition to the bombing of schools, “two martyrs and a number of wounded were reported as a result of the raids of the war regime that targeted the industrial area and the governorate building in the city of Idlib”.
Edlib Media Center, Macro Media Center, Justice Organization and Syrian Civil Defence blamed the regime, while Step Agency and ShahbaPress blamed both the regime and Russia for the air and/or artillery strikes.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “Mahmoud Faisal al Sbeih, a teacher, died on March 4th, 2020, due to wounds sustained on February 25th, 2020, in a shelling by Syrian regime forces’ missile launcher using missiles loaded with cluster munitions on al Baraem School in Idlib suburbs. Accordingly, the teachers victims rose to three in the that day.”
In Human Rights Watch report, it was mentioned that three teachers were killed and six others injured. “On February 25, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., a cluster munition struck the yard of Bra`am secondary school and several of its submunitions detonated, killing three teachers and wounding six others. Fifteen minutes earlier, soon after classes had started, Muhammad Ammoun, the head of the school (formerly known as Taha Gharib school), which has 1,200 male students and 40 teachers, decided to send all of the students home due to heavy shelling in the area. After the students had left, Ammoun said he was standing in the schoolyard at the main gate with about 10 teachers when the munition hit. In addition to the dead and wounded, the attack caused minor damage to the school building and classes were cancelled for several days.”
“At the same time as the attack on the Bra`am school, there was another cluster munition attack on Khalid Sha`ar, a primary school located 400 meters away. The school, which had an enrollment of 218 students, was closed because of heavy shelling the previous day and empty at the time of the attack. The attack caused minor damage to the school yard and the school reopened a few days later.”
The incident occured at approximately 8:30 am local time.