|Date: Apr 19, 2019|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Army shelling kills 10 in Idlib: Observatory|
|BEIRUT / GENEVA: Regime shelling killed 10 civilians in Syria’s militant-controlled Idlib region Thursday, in the latest violence to threaten a 7-month-old truce, an activist group said. Rocket fire targeted a village and an adjacent camp for the internally displaced in Idlib’s southeastern countryside, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.|
Four women and three children were among the 10 civilians killed in the attack that also wounded 30 people, the Observatory said.
Regime ally Russia and rebel-backer Turkey in September inked a buffer zone deal to prevent a massive regime offensive on the Idlib region, near the Turkish border.
But the region of some 3 million people has come under increasing bombardment since former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham took full control of it in January. More than 86,500 people fled their homes in February and March as a result of the surge in violence, it said.
Iran, Russia and Turkey are set to discuss the Idlib deal during a fresh round of talks on April 25-26 in Kazakhstan. Delegations from the Syrian regime and armed opposition groups are also expected to participate, according to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.
Separately, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis Panos Moumtzis, said Thursday that around 2,500 foreign children are stuck in a guarded section of the Al-Hawll camp after fleeing Daesh’s (ISIS) last stronghold, urging governments not to abandon them.
The children’s plight at the Al-Hawl camp in northeast Syria is a dilemma for nations who saw citizens leave and fight for the militant group in Syria and Iraq only to find themselves in limbo after the fall of their self-proclaimed “caliphate.”
Moumtzis said home nations must take responsibility for repatriating their citizens, prosecuting where necessary.
“Really nobody should be rendered stateless and every effort should be made to find a solution for these people,” he told a Geneva news briefing.
The children are among 10,000 non-Syrian and non-Iraqi nationals kept in a “restricted” section of the sprawling, Kurdish-run camp where 75,000 people live in total.
Some 211 children were among at least 260 people who died of malnutrition or disease en route to the camp since December, the latest U.N. figures show.
Moumtzis said states had a legal responsibility, especially for children, many of whom were born in Daesh camps. “Children should be treated first and foremost as victims” and “irrespective of family affiliation,” he said.