Attacks on Syrian Schools Constitute War Crime — UNICEF

October 28th, 2016 - by admin

Sky News & Al Jazeera & Journeyman Pictures & R&U Vid – 2016-10-28 21:57:16

US and Russia Trade Claims
Over Syria Aid Convoy Attack

ITV News

(September 20, 2016) — The United States believes two Russian jets carried out the airstrike on an aid convoy in Syria, killing 21 people. But Russia has denied involvement and released footage which its defence ministry says shows the convoy was accompanied by militants.

The United States believes two Russian jets carried out the airstrike on an aid convoy in Syria, killing 21 people.

But Russia has denied involvement and released footage which its defence ministry says shows the convoy was accompanied by militants.

School Airstrikes in Syria
Could Be War Crime’, UNICEF Says

Sky News

(October 27, 2016) – Airstrikes on a Syrian school that killed scores of children could be a “war crime”, the head of the UN children’s agency has said. The strike in rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday may have been the deadliest attack on a school since the beginning of the war five years ago, said UNICEF.

According to the agency, 22 children and six teachers were killed when a series of airstrikes hit the school complex in the village of Hass as children gathered outside. But estimates on the death toll vary.

The Syrian Civil Defence first responder team and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes killed at least 35, most of them children. Russia says it was not involved in the attack.

UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake called the airstrikes an “outrage”. He added if it is determined that the airstrikes were deliberate, “it is a war crime.”

“This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago,” Mr. Lake said. “When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?”

Idlib is the main Syrian opposition stronghold, though radical militant groups also have a large presence there. It is regularly hit by Syrian and Russian warplanes but also by the US-backed strikes targeting Islamic State militants. An activist at the scene said as many as 10 airstrikes were believed to have hit the residential area where the school is located on Wednesday.

Children across Syria have suffered from the conflict. Juliette Touma, regional UNICEF chief of communication, said 591 children were killed in 2015 as a result of the war, including in attacks on schools.

Over 1.7 million Syrian children remain out of school in 2016, a staggering figure but a drop from 2014 when 2.1 million were recorded as out-of-school children, UNICEF said. Another 1.3 million are at risk of dropping out this year.

In Aleppo, the besieged rebel-held city that has been hit by a punishing bombing campaign, teachers and volunteers set up some schools underground to ensure some classes continue amid the airstrikes.

As the conflict rages, Vladimir Putin appeared to blame Barack Obama for the failure to reach an agreement to end the bloodshed. “A united front to defeat terrorism has in fact not been created,” the Russian President said. “In Washington there were forces that did their best to ensure our agreements did not take off.”

Moscow has also dismissed a NATO suggestion that Russian ships in the Mediterranean would join the bombing of Aleppo. The RIA news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying NATO had no reason to worry about the battle group.

Andrei Kelin, a senior Russian foreign ministry official, was quoted as saying: “The concerns are not based on anything as our planes have not come near Aleppo for nine days.

“Our battle group is in the Mediterranean. Our ships have always had a presence there,” he added. “Why make some spurious suggestions and then make some political recommendations based on them? It is of course absurd.”

Air Strikes Kill Schoolchildren in Syria’s Douma
Al Jazeera English

(October 27, 2016) — Activists in Syria say nine people have been killed in air attacks on a school by government forces in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus.

Syria’s War: Air Strikes Hit Hospital near Idlib
Al Jazeera English

(August 7, 2016) — At least 10 people, including three children, have been killed after air strikes hit a hospital near the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib. The hospital, which is linked to the aid group Doctors Without Borders, is now completely out of service.

Syrian Bombing Kills Children near School
Al Jazeera English

(December 22, 2013) — At least 189 people reportedly killed in a week-long bombing in Aleppo according to Doctors without Borders. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said last Monday that half of Syria’s population of around 23 million is “food insecure” and nearly a third needs urgent assistance.

These Syrian Children Are Dodging Bombs To Get To School
Ibrahim’s War / Journeyman Pictures

(March 25, 2013) — What makes an 11-year-old boy start wetting the bed? Or fear a sunny day? Try missile attacks on his town. As the Syrian civil war drags on, Ibrahim is dodging bombs rather than studying to be a doctor.

In a small run-down classroom three kids pore over a textbook. Suddenly a deafening crash fills the air and the entire room shakes. It was an explosion caused by a government jet dropping bombs overhead; they landed so close shrapnel was streaming down outside the windows.

The kids here have grown used to this and for them the overriding feeling is frustration at another school day interrupted.

“I have already lost two years of study. I hope I don’t lose any more this year. I want to study medicine and become a doctor,” Ibrahim, aged 11, tells us. But it’s also obvious how fear permeates every aspect of life here.

“When the sun is out we’re all afraid. If the sky is clear the planes come and strike us.” But it’s not only the Syrians making life difficult for the kids, it’s also their own side. A bomb has landed down the road at another school. When the crew tries to film the scene they are ushered away by gunmen. A local says the school is being used as a base for the rebels to fight from.

Ibrahim’s parents have six children, and daily life for the family is reduced to a simple struggle for survival. Even so, they don’t regret siding with the rebels. “This revolution is for the children. We are building them a better future,” Zein al Dein, Ibrahim’s father, insists.

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Idlib School Bombing Accusations and Video Evidence
R&U Vid

(October 27 2016) — The executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake said that as many as 22 children and six teachers were killed in an attack on a school in Idlib. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack on a school in Syria’s Idlib and called for an investigation into the bombing.

She also said that international media “launched an attack” on Russia by claiming that Moscow and Damascus are behind the bombing without presenting evidence.

The UNICEF has fallen victim to another hoax by the White Helmets NGO, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman added. “Before making statements, UNISEF officials should check the sources of its information,” he said, adding that such a respected organization should not undermine its reputation.

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