Syria: School Attacks by Government Forces in Aleppo kills 10

Syria: School Attacks by Government Forces in Aleppo kills 10 14 April 2015

The International Gulf Organization (iaIGO) for Human Rights vehemently condemns the attack on a school by Syrian pro-government forces resulting in the death of at least 10 people.

Syrian forces loyalist to the ruling regime recently conducted a series of airstrikes in the opposition-held areas of Aleppo which bombarded the Said al-Ansari school in the Al-Ansari district. About 10 people including teachers and students were killed and 30 others injured. Due to this incident, many schools in the city have closed while some others hold it in hidden places.

The pro-regime airstrikes occurred a day after government forces had a crossfire battle with rebel groups in northern Aleppo. The clashes claimed the lives of at least 35 civilians.

Syria’s civil conflict is in its fifth year and pro-government forces have been carrying out several indiscriminate attacks on residential areas, killing scores of innocent civilians.  Over 230,000 Syrians have lost their lives during the conflict and an estimated 9 million others have been displaced both internally and externally.

Aerial bombardment and indiscriminate killing of civilians and attacks on schools in non-international conflicts is against international human rights legislations. The Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions prohibits the deliberate or indiscriminate attack of civilians and civilian objects including children, even if the area contained military objectives, and the attacking force must take precautions and steps to spare the lives of civilians and civilian objects as possible.

The 1945 Hague Convention regards schools and educational establishments as being of great importance to the cultural heritage for every people and as such prohibits any destruction or damage on them. Syria is a signatory to these and other related conventions but have rather attacked than protect civilians including school children.

Hence, iaIGO strongly denounces this unsystematic killings and attacks on schools by Syrian forces and calls on the government to cease immediately from indiscriminate aerial bombardments. Syrian authorities should also respect their obligations under international humanitarian laws and ensure maximum protection of school children and school infrastructures.

iaIGO further urges the UN Security Council to take necessary measures in implementing its Resolution 2139 which strongly condemns human rights violations in Syria, particularly those committed by the Syrian regime. The UN and other regional bodies should equally make provisions for children in Syria to resume and continue school uninterrupted.