This morning, a group of Russian jets conducted airstrikes in various areas within northern Syria’s Idlib province. Reportedly, these jets targeted locations near three villages: Sheikh Bahr, Maraat Misreen, and Batenta. These airstrikes occurred shortly after a midnight raid west of Idlib City. Syria TV, a Turkey-based outlet, reported, “During the early hours of Monday, Russian warplanes carried out three airstrikes on the western outskirts of Idlib City, causing injuries to civilians.”
According to local sources, today’s attacks near Sheikh Bahr specifically impacted a camp housing internally displaced persons (IDPs), resulting in injuries to at least seven individuals, including women and children. The Bir al-Taib IDP camp is situated on the outskirts of Sheikh Bahr. While it remains unclear if the camp was intentionally targeted, there is evidence to suggest that both Russian and Assad regime attacks have deliberately struck camps in the past.
In November of the previous year, Russian jets and Assad regime rockets caused injuries to more than 80 IDPs near Sheikh Bahr and led to the deaths of at least nine people, including a 4-month-old infant. A report released in July of this year by the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) highlighted that attacks on IDP camps by Assad and his allies are both systemic and deliberate. The report documented a total of 17 incidents involving attacks on camps, noting that these camps are easily distinguishable as civilian sites from the air due to their “distinctive layouts and characteristic, blue-colored tents.”
The United Nations has previously expressed concern, stating, “The fact that numerous densely populated IDP camps were struck during these attacks, seemingly carried out without considering their deadly impact on civilians, raises serious alarms.”