Assad Regime Continues Using Targeted Munitions and Suicide Drones Against Civilians in Northwestern Syria

Credit: (L24/Social Media)

 In a disturbing escalation of violence, civilians in northwestern Syria are enduring a relentless barrage of attacks orchestrated with chilling precision. Targeted munitions and suicide drones, typically reserved for military targets, are now being deployed with deadly intent against innocent civilians, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis in the region. This calculated brutality, unfolding in the lead-up to the sacred month of Ramadan, demonstrates a deliberate campaign by Assad and his allies, to continue to sow fear and devastation among Syrian communities.

The Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, has documented numerous instances of civilian casualties resulting from these merciless attacks. Yesterday, the first day of Ramadan, a civilian was killed by a suicide drone while simply driving an agricultural tractor in the town of Kafr Noran, rural Aleppo. A second drone targeted a residential house in the same town. These attacks, launched from areas under regime control, coincide with relentless artillery shelling, compounding the anguish inflicted upon civilians.

The timing of these assaults is particularly egregious, occurring as Syrians prepare to observe Ramadan. Yet, instead of anticipation and celebration, families are reeling from the agony of loss and the anguish of separation. Elderly individuals, children, and entire families have fallen victim to the indiscriminate violence unleashed by regime forces and allied militias.

According to the White Helmets, between January 1 and March 9 of 2024, they responded to over “170 attacks, which led to the killing of 16 civilians, including women and children, and the injury of 82 others, including more than 22 children and over 10 women.”

A child, Muhammad Taha Hamiko, his little brother, and several others were gravely injured when a civilian car, ferrying them from school to their home, was targeted by a guided missile in Darat Izza. Similar atrocities have unfolded across northwestern Syria, with suicide drones raining down terror on unsuspecting civilians in villages and agricultural lands.

The White Helmets explain these attacks are part of “a systematic policy to prolong the war and kill more civilians. The regime forces use suicide drones in many of their attacks on civilians to undermine the lives of Syrians, limit their movement, and prevent them from reaching their lands and harvesting their crops at a time when the humanitarian response is declining and the international community is increasingly ignoring the needs of the Syrians in the northwest.”

The systematic nature of these attacks leaves no doubt about their malevolent intent. Civilians are not collateral damage but deliberate targets in a relentless campaign to sow terror and undermine livelihoods.

Regrettably, this grim reality is not new to Syrians. For over a decade, the specter of violence has loomed large, casting a shadow over the hopes and aspirations of an entire nation. As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, the Syrian populace braces for yet another wave of brutality, as markets and gatherings become perilous targets for regime forces and their allies.


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