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5 Children Killed in Hama Countryside as Village of Qarqour Hit by Regime Forces' Artillery Shelling

A Bloody month unfolds in Northwestern Syria amid ongoing attacks by Regime and Russian forces.

On Sunday, October 22nd, regime forces targeted residential areas in the village of Al-Qarqour in the northern plains of northwestern Hama countryside with artillery shelling. Five children, including three siblings and their cousin, along with another child, were killed in this attack. Additionally, their sister, who was playing with the other children when the attack occurred, is still missing.

During the early hours of that same day, Sunday, October 22nd, a civilian suffered minor injuries after a wall of his house collapsed due to an airstrike carried out by Russian military aircraft in the village of Sheikh Sandian in the western countryside of Idlib. Simultaneously, a similar airstrike targeted the village of Ghaniya in the same area, without causing any casualties

The current month of October has experienced a notable escalation in attacks by regime and Russian forces. In the first half of the month, our teams responded to 194 attacks on 60 cities and towns in northwestern Syria. These attacks led to the death of 49 civilian lives, including 13 children and 10 women. 230 civilians were injured, among them 67 children and 63 women.

Residential areas, vital infrastructure, and essential facilities were all targeted in the systematic bombardment of cities and towns in northwestern Syria. White Helmets teams responded to 94 attacks on residential neighborhoods and civilian homes, 10 attacks on schools, 5 attacks on mosques, 5 attacks on hospitals, 3 attacks on displacement camps, 4 attacks on markets, and 4 attacks on White Helmets centers.     

The majority of attacks involved artillery shelling by regime forces, totaling approximately 100 attacks. There were also 68 missile attacks, 5 attacks with incendiary missiles, an attack with cluster munitions, and 14 attacks carried out by Russian military aircraft. 

From the beginning of the current year 2023 until October 15, White Helmets teams responded to 951 attacks on areas of northwestern Syria by regime forces, Russia, and areas under the joint control of regime forces and Syrian Democratic Forces. These attacks resulted in the death of 112 civilians, including 24 children and 16 women, and injury of 510 civilians, including 163 children and 77 women.

The recent escalation of relentless attacks by the regime and Russia on civilians have further pushed Syria into a deepening humanitarian crisis, aggravated by the approaching winter, as thousands of civilians from the countryside of Idlib, Hama, and Aleppo have now been newly displaced from these attacks. As these events unfold in the absence of any real measures to hold accountable those responsible for the heinous crimes against the Syrian people, urgent international intervention is crucial to halt the crisis and establish a lasting peace.