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Human Rights Council

Statement by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on the aerial attack against school complex in Haas village, Idlib

28 October 2016

Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

GENEVA (28 October 2016) – The Commission is horrified by the aerial assault reportedly launched by pro-Government forces in Haas village, Idlib, on 26 October in which three schools in a complex were struck.  The attack is said to have killed no less than 25 civilians, the majority of whom were schoolchildren, and injured dozens of others including women and children.

The Commission is undertaking a thorough investigation of the attack with a view to confirming the identity of those responsible. The Commission reiterates its call on all warring parties to respect international humanitarian law, and in particular the protection afforded to civilians and civilian objects, including schools.

“At a time where the number of safe spaces for civilians has shrunken so vastly, attacks against the few remaining functional schools for Syrian children are particularly grotesque”, said Commission Chair, Paulo Pinheiro. “There is no indication presently that any of these schools were being used by armed groups for military purposes.  Make no mistake—if this attack is found to be deliberate, it would amount to a war crime.”

The Commission extends its deepest condolences to the victims and families affected.


For further media information: (Geneva) Rolando Gómez, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Tel: +41-22-917.9711, email: [email protected], or Cédric Sapey, OHCHR, Tel: +41-22-917.9695, email: [email protected]