MİDDLE EAST

Assad regime takes away children’s right to education

Attacks by the Syrian regime on educational infrastructures resulted in the death of at least 171 children and 528 civilians

Editor / Internet Yeni Şafak

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the Assad regime has deliberately targeted civilian infrastructures such as hospitals, schools and mosques in heavy air and ground attacks.

A special report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) revealed that over 1,356 schools were targeted across the country between March 2011 and August 2018. These attacks on educational infrastructures resulted in the death of at least 171 children and 528 civilians.

The NGO said more than half of the schools have been left unserviceable by attacks carried out by regime forces, Russian warplanes, a U.S.-led coalition, Daesh and YPG/PKK terrorist organizations and anti-regime opposition groups.

The rights group noted that the number of attacks has sharply increased since 2015 when Russian forces began its massive air campaign in support of Syrian regime forces.

According to the NGO, regime forces carried out 996 attacks on schools, while Russian warplanes were responsible for 169 attacks.

The U.S.-led coalition launched 87 attacks on schools, while anti-regime groups were responsible for 36 attacks, Daesh launched 23 attacks and YPG/PKK terrorists carried out three attacks.

The NGO said unidentified elements were responsible for 42 attacks on schools in Syria.

Idlib province the most targeted

Due to the regime’s indiscriminate attacks, many Syrian families are unable to send their children to schools. Instead, they have to work at an early age to support their families.

Most of the government strikes are on the opposition-controlled areas, especially Idlib, which rendered most of the schools unserviceable.

SNHR also said that a total of 361 schools have been damaged in the northwestern province of Idlib, 260 in Aleppo, 198 in Damascus and its countryside, 118 in Homs, 76 in Raqqah, 103 in Daraa, 122 in Hama, 106 in Deir ez-Zour, 8 in Hasakah and 4 in Latakia.

Last month, Virginia Gamba, the UN special representative for children in armed conflict, said more than 7,000 children have been killed in Syria since 2011.

The UN had earlier said that some 2.1 million Syrian children were unable to continue their education due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

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