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Syria

Air strikes kill over 70 civilians across Idlib

IdlibOn Sunday, December 4th 2016, at least 73 were killed across Idlib province, Syria. Russia are suspected of carrying out the air strikes, as they announced a major operation targeting Idlib in November.

Air strikes landed in populated areas such as markets and residential areas.

The majority of the casualties occurred in Kafr Nabl, where 26 were killed, and Maarat al-Numan, where 38 were killed.

One civilian was also killed in an earlier airstrike in Maarat al-Numan, another in al-Naqir, and six – including five children – in a government barrel bomb attack in al-Tamanah.

So far this year, Idlib has been the second most impacted region in Syria from explosive violence, according to civilian deaths and injuries. The only region with more is Aleppo, where half of civilian deaths and injuries from across the whole country have been recorded. Those in Idlib account for 11%.

Between January and October 2016, AOAV has recorded almost 11,000 civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence in Syria. This demonstrates a 52% rise in civilian deaths and injuries compared to the same period last year.

This increase in civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence this year, comes despite the inevitable reporting fatigue on the Syrian conflict and the fact that millions have already fled the violence.

Of the deaths and injuries so far this year in Syria from explosive violence, just under 50% have been caused by air-launched explosives. Many reports have included barrel bombs, bunker-busting bombs, cluster bombs and chemical-laced bombs as being behind civilian deaths.

The main perpetrators of air-launched explosive weapons have been Syria and Russia.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and encourages states to refrain from the use of explosive violence in populated areas due to the high threat they pose to civilians. The situation in Syria is horrific; the international community should seek to urgently address the situation and the needs of the civilians who remain at risk and those who have been displaced.

For more information on the impact of explosive weapon use in populated areas, please read our report Wide Area Impact.