UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for an investigation into air strikes conducted in the province of Idlib in a renewed attempt to cover crimes committed by Russia against civilians in Syria.
In a statement, the Secretary-General said: “[I am] calling for a full investigation into the attacks, especially allegations that there was also a second strike targeting first responders who arrived at the scene, to establish accountability”, according to the press service of the World Health Organisation.
Guterres expressed his deep concern about the air strikes which targeted the village of Zardana, north of Idlib province, on the night of June 7 to 8, which killed dozens of civilians, including children.
In his statement, the Secretary-General noted that Idlib was part of the de-escalation agreement reached in Astana [Kazakhstan] and called upon its guarantors to fulfill their obligations.
He emphasised the precarious plight of the estimated 2.3 million people in Idlib governorate, 60% of whom are civilians displaced by the conflict from other areas, most recently from Eastern Ghouta.
The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, has denied all culpability for the airstrikes conducted by its forces last Thursday in Zardana, in which 45 civilians were killed, blaming the deaths on rebel fighters and jihadists from an al-Qaeda-linked alliance.
A correspondent for El-Dorar El-Shamia, quoting military observers, confirmed that Russian fighter jets had conducted heavy air strikes on the town of Zardana on Thursday evening, violating the [UN’s] agreement for “de-escalation”.
Translated By: Anastasia Pr