At least 21 civilians, including nine children and three teachers, were killed when 10 schools and a hospital were hit by “airstrikes and ground attacks” in Idlib province in northwestern Syria on Tuesday, said the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations said in a statement.
Save the Children and its partner Hurras Network confirmed some schools were in class, some had broken up for the day and some were being used as shelters. According to Hurras Network, this is the highest number of schools hit by attacks in Idlib in a single day since at least the start of 2019. Twenty-two schools have now been hit since the start of 2020 – almost half of them today.
Bill Chambers, President and CEO of Save the Children said: “Schools must be safe havens for children, even in a conflict zone. Today’s attacks are another sign that fighting in North West Syria has reached catastrophic levels of violence against children and civilians which go far beyond what is acceptable in conflict. Vast numbers of families have been forced from their homes many times in search of some semblance of safety and stability. And still they face daily and nightly terror as bombs rain down. Nowhere is safe, not even school.”
The United Nations launched a revised response plan for Northwest Syria with a funding requirement of US$336 million to help 800,000 newly displaced people over the next six months.