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Syria

Air strikes return to Syria with devastating impacts

syria-picAfter the relative quiet of recent weeks, Syria was faced with a surge of airstrikes on Wednesday, November 16th 2016, particularly in Aleppo. At least 87 were reported to have been killed in rebel-held areas in Aleppo.

No area was safe. Hospitals, residential areas, areas near schools, were just some of the civilian areas pounded by air-launched explosives.

Barrel bombs were reported to have hit the Children’s Hospital, Al-Bayan Hospital and the Central Blood Bank in Al-Shaar neighborhood.

Many buildings were flattened by the strikes in Aleppo, reducing more of the city to rubble.

In one village alone, Batbo, in the Aleppo countryside, over 20 were killed and 50 injured, according to the White Helmets.

Many children were reported to be among the dead and wounded.

A total of 36,224 deaths and injuries from explosive violence were recorded there between 2011-2015 – of these 86% (31,290) were civilians. Indeed, the only country worse affected from explosive violence in the last five years was Iraq.

Of the civilians killed and injured between 2011-2015 by explosive violence in Syria, 16,657 have been reported on English language media from explosive violence perpetrated by state actors, predominantly Syria and Russia. Of these state perpetrated attacks 466 were air-launched, which alone were responsible for 10,065 civilian deaths and injuries.

So far this year, Syria has consistently suffered the most civilian deaths and injuries each month, apart from a brief respite in March, despite ceasefire violations. More civilians have been killed and injured in the explosive violence so this year than in the entirety of 2015. The situation appears to only be getting worse.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. The data reflected here cannot capture the full scale of civilian suffering in Syria, but is indicative of the patterns of harm that exist when explosive weapons are used in populated areas.

AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. The use of weapons with wide-area impacts should also remain of concern; due to the severe impact these have on civilians. All actors must urgently address the civilian harm in Syria. The situation in Syria requires an urgent response to prevent further suffering of Syrian civilians, who have for too long borne the impact of the violence in their country.