“Despicable” air strike on Syria tent camp

UN vehicles, carrying a humanitarian aid team, pass a destroyed overbridge on their way to Idlib City, capital of Idlib Governorate, Syria, in October 2013. Photo: UNICEF/Mougabe Koslengar (file)
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  • Deadly air strikes on two informal camps in northern Syria hosting hundreds of displaced families have been condemned by the United Nations.

    At least 28 people were reportedly killed in the attacks, which happened on Thursday in Idlib province.

    The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has called the bombing “despicable” and “murderous.”

    He said it could constitute a war crime.

    Dianne Penn reports.

    The informal tent settlements were located in Sarmada in north-west Syria, close to the border with Turkey.

    They were home to about 450 families, roughly 2,500 people, who had fled rural areas in Aleppo since late last year.

    The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said it was “extremely unlikely that these murderous attacks were an accident.”

    In a statement on Friday, he said it was “far more likely they were deliberate and amount to a war crime.”

    The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has also weighed in, describing the attacks as “a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

    UNHCR Spokesperson Leo Dobbs said the agency is calling for better protection of displaced people in Syria.

    “And also, we’re calling on all the parties there to respect the fundamental human rights of people who have fled their homes and should be given protection and in this case, it clearly hasn’t happened.”

    More than six million people inside Syria have been displaced by the country’s ongoing conflict, which is now in its sixth year.

    Dianne Penn, United Nations.

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