Today on November 25, the Assad regime forces committed a massacre murdering 11 people from two families in a village near Jabal al-Zawiya. This morning’s attack coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and left one woman and four girls dead and another woman, Khadijah injured and grieving the killing of her husband and three children as well as five other family members due to the attacks by Russian and Assad forces.
According to the Syrian Civil Defense also known as the White Helmets, the death toll of the massacre committed by the regime forces, which targeted the families while they were working to harvest the olive crop in the village of Qaqfin, south of Idlib, reached 11 civilian deaths, including 7 children and a woman.
In a recent report, the White Helmets documented the killing of 66 civilians, including 23 children and 13 women, and the injury of more than 270 others, including 79 children, 47 women, and 3 Civil Defense volunteers, by Assad and Russian attacks last month alone.
They added that the regime forces committed three massacres during October, with most of the victims being women and children. The first was on Thursday night (October 5), when the regime forces targeted, with missile strikes, a residential house for a displaced family in the town of Kafr Nouran, west of Aleppo, which led to the death of 5. Civilians from one family (an elderly crippled woman and her four young children and two women) and a woman were injured.
Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) Minister of Health, Dr. Hussein Bazar commented on the massacre as part of an ongoing escalation of attacks in the region, “As part of the series of crimes and continuous targeting of civilian families, the criminal (Assad) regime’s militias targeted civilians working on the olive harvest in the village of Qaqfin, south of Idlib.”
The villages and towns of Jabal al-Zawiya are witnessing a continuous escalation of bombing, aimed at displacing the civilians. The region is under near constant surveillance by Russian drones which provide targeting information to Assad forces. Yesterday, Friday, the town of Al-Fatira was attacked with surface-to-surface missiles, in addition to targeting the villages of Ruwaiha, Sarja, and Deir Sunbul, with heavy artillery shells, and heavy machine gun fire on the outskirts of the town of Al-Bara.
This afternoon funeral prayers were held for the 11 victims of the Qaqfin massacre before being buried in a single grave in their village. Despite the documentation of ongoing attacks on civilians by human rights groups and a dangerous escalation in attacks by Assad and Russian forces the international community has not yet taken any substantive actions to curtail the continuation of such massacres leading many in Syria to fear they will only continue to increase if left unchecked.