Ramadan Begins with Bombardment of Aleppo's Western Countryside by Regime Forces and Russia
Despite the tragic aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Syria, the Assad regime and Russia continue their deadly attacks, adding to the already dire situation faced by civilians.
In the early hours of Ramadan, regime forces and Russia launched deadly attacks on northwestern Syria, resulting in one death and four civilian injuries, including two women. These attacks, which targeted the popular market and residential neighborhoods in the city of Atarib in the western countryside of Aleppo, turned Ramadan into a scene for continuous crimes against civilians. Unfortunately, these attacks come at a time when the effects of the earthquake disaster are still at their peak.
During the iftar hour on Thursday, March 23, a woman and a man were injured in shelling by the regime forces and Russia. About an hour later, the artillery shelling was renewed on the city of Atarib, affecting its residential neighborhoods and extending to the outskirts of the city of Al-Dana in the northern countryside of Idlib. Thankfully, this attack resulted only in material damage and no injuries.
However, the regime forces and Russia resumed their bombardment in the evening hours of the city of Atarib and the adjacent village of Al-Jinah in the western countryside of Aleppo. One of the shells fell near the tents of earthquake survivors in a shelter in the village of Al-Jinah, but thankfully, it did not cause any casualties. The bombardment continued until the pre-dawn hours of the second day of Ramadan, when they targeted the town of Al-Abzimo in the western countryside of Aleppo with heavy artillery shells. Unfortunately, this attack resulted in one death and injuries to a woman and another young man. The shelling affected the town's market and nearby civilian homes, causing a fire to break out in one of the shops.
Six days ago, the regime forces and Russia targeted the town of Kafr Taal in the western countryside of Aleppo with seven artillery shells, one of which targeted the town's mosque. This attack led to the destruction of the minaret and damage to civilian homes.
Villages adjacent to areas controlled by the regime and Russia in the western countryside of Aleppo are subjected to artillery and missile attacks from time to time, causing panic among civilians and depriving them of stability. This is especially true in villages and towns with cracked buildings as a result of the devastating earthquake that struck northwestern Syria on February 6.
During January and February, teams responded to about 100 attacks by the regime forces and Russia on northwestern Syria. These attacks killed three people, including a woman, and injured 24 others, including 10 children and 4 women.
Unfortunately, the Assad regime and Russia have not halted their deadly military attacks despite the catastrophic earthquake that befell Syria. This is occurring at a time when civilians are already living in a tragic state and constant tension due to the earthquake and its repercussions, the continuous aftershocks, and the forced relocation of residents to open areas.
The regime forces and Russia intentionally target civilians during the holy month of Ramadan each year, depriving them of moments of joy when they gather at the Ramadan table and causing a high number of civilian casualties by attacking markets while civilians are purchasing their necessities. These attacks occur at a time when hundreds of thousands of civilians continue to suffer from the catastrophic effects of the devastating earthquake, including the thousands of buildings that remain cracked and unsafe for habitation, and the ongoing fear among civilians of living inside them. Many are forced to sleep in tents and shelters that lack the basic necessities of life, further exacerbating the already difficult humanitarian conditions that civilians face during the harsh winter months. The infrastructure of the region was already weakened by twelve years of war, and the earthquake has only compounded the challenges faced by the population.