Destruction of the White Helmets civil defense center in Qastoun in northwest Syria by Assad regime shelling, June 19, 2021


UPDATE, AUG 20:

In its latest shelling of opposition-held northwest Syria, the Assad regime has killed a woman and four children.

The four family members and another child were slain in the Jabal al-Zawiya region in Idlib Province, the target of repeated artillery and missile strikes. Their home was destroyed by Russian-made laser-guided shells.

In the last 72 hours, nine civilians have been killed and 10 injured by the attacks.


UPDATE, JULY 24:

Protestors have also challenged the Islamist bloc Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham for not responding to Assad regime attacks on civilians in Idlib Province.

In a media appearance, HTS leader Abu Muhammad al-Jolani said, “We do not expect an enemy ground attack towards the area in the current situation, but we do not rule out an escalation in the frequency of bombing.”

Asked about HTS’s response, Jolani responded, “We will go to battle when conditions are appropriate, which we are preparing for. The decision of peace and war is in our hands.”


UPDATE, JULY 23:

Protests continue across Idlib Province, including in front of a Turkish military position over Ankara’s reluctance to intervene against the pro-Assad killing of civilians.


UPDATE, JULY 22:

Assad regime has slain seven members of the same family in an attack on Thursday morning.

Residents of Idlib Province have protested the lack of response by Turkey and anti-Assad factions to the ongoing killings of civilians by Assad forces.

People in villages in the Jawal al-Zawiya region have set tyres ablaze, sending smoke rising above roads.


UPDATE, 1200 GMT:

Eight civilians have been killed and three rescuers wounded by an Assad regime “double tap” attack in southern Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

Assad forces fired artillery on homes, and then on rescuers responding to the initial assault. Pro-opposition activists said the regime troops again used Russian-made Krasnopol guided shells. Russian and Iranian drones flew overhead.

Footage at the moment of the second strike:


UPDATE, JULY 17:

The Assad regime continues its shelling of civilians in Idlib Province in northwest Syria on a daily basis.

Pro-opposition activists assess that the regime, breaking the March 2020 ceasefire deal between Turkey and Russia, is trying to “depopulate” the area south of the east-west M4 highway and push civilians to the north nearer the Turkish border.


UPDATE, JULY 5:

Among the victims of Saturday’s shelling by Assad regime forces were a volunteer of the Violet Organization, Subhi Abdel Hamid Al-Assi, and his wife and children.

The Violet Organization was established to help civilians in Idlib Province in northwest Syria, amid a Russian-regime offensive that displaced more than 1 million people and then the Coronavirus pandemic.

The group began by delivering food packages. It later trained hundreds of volunteers for a task force to fight the virus, distributing personal protective equipment and hygiene kits and sterilizing hospitals, public health centers, and displaced persons’ camps.

Fuad Sayyed Issa, the Organization’s founder, said, “It’s a very small thing we can do, but the need is so huge. We are trying to do our best.”

See also Syria Daily: Coronavirus — How The Violet Organization is Helping Civilians in the Northwest


UPDATE, JULY 3:

Local sources and White Helmets rescuers say the latest shelling by Assad regime forces in northwest Syria has killed nine civilians, including six children and a woman, and injured 14.

Saturday morning’s assault struck the Jabal al-Zawiya area of Idlib Province, the target of escalating attacks over the past month.

Graphic video shows the mangled bodies of the victims amid the rubble.

Pro-opposition activists said Russian warplanes were also attacking on Saturday, hitting the civil defense center in the Sahl al-Rouj plain in western Idlib. Five rescuers were slightly injured.

Russian officials are covering for the shelling of civilians with their oft-repeated lie that anti-Assad groups are preparing a “false flag” chemical attack.

Vadim Kulit, deputy chief of the Russian “Center for Reconciliation”, said on Friday, “According to our information, militants are planning to stage a false chemical attack in the southern part of the Jebel al-Zawide ridge to blame Syrian government forces for the use of chemical weapons against civilians.”


UPDATE, JUNE 22:

Shelling by Assad regime forces killed another seven people in the Jabal al-Zawiya area of Idlib Province on Monday.

At least 100 civilians have been killed by Russia-regime attacks in northwest Syria since January 1, according to White Helmets rescuers.


ORIGINAL ENTRY, JUNE 20: Assad regime forces have shelled a White Helmets civil defense center in northwest Syria, killing a rescuer and wounding three others.

The destroyed center was in the town of Qastoun in the al-Ghab Plain in western Hama Province. Local sources claimed that Russian-made Krasnopol guided missiles were used, indicating the deliberate targeting of the rescuers.

The slain volunteer was identified as Daham Al-Hussein.

Regime forces have escalated shelling of southern Idlib and western Hama Provinces this month, as civilians return to their homes from displaced persons camps near the Turkish border. At least nine people have been killed, a school destroyed, and crops burnt.

See also Assad Regime Shells Returning Civilians in Northwest Syria

Throughout Syria’s 123-month conflict, the Assad regime has targeted medical and civil defense complexes. After its military intervention in September 2015, Russia joined the attacks with massive airstrikes. Most of the hospitals, clinics, and civil defense centers in northwest Syria have been damaged or destroyed.

The Assad regime has continued attacks despite a March 2020 ceasefire agreement between Russia and Turkey, ending an 11-month Russian-regime offensive taking over part of the northwest. Russian warplanes have occasionally bombed the area, including during last week’s shelling.

See also Syria Daily: Amnesty — The Russia-Regime “War Crimes” v. Schools and Hospitals

More than 200 White Helmets rescuers have been killed since the organization was formed in 2013 to provide civil defense for anti-Assad areas.