URGENT JOINT STATEMENT: Russian Airstrike Massacre in Jisr al Shughur, Idlib: Urgent Call for International Support

WASHINGTON, DC— Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA), Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), Syria Institute for Progress (SI4P), and Global Justice (site) are disturbed by the massacre that took place yesterday in Syria’s Idlib. Russian airstrikes on Jisr al Shughur, Idlib, killed at least 10, including two children, and injured more than 60 civilians on Sunday, June 25. According to the White Helmets, the death toll is expected to increase due to the critical status of those injured. 

The airstrikes targeted a popular vegetable market that is one of the few remaining sources of income for farmers and workers in this area, making it a strategic target for Assad and Russian forces who have been intentionally striking agricultural hotspots to restrain the food supply as well as profit in northwest Syria. 

This massacre comes at a time when Assad and Russia have been escalating daily attacks on opposition-held areas in Syria. Last week on June 21, artillery shelling by Assad and Russia on the town of Kafr Nouran in the countryside of Aleppo killed a father and his child and wounded eight civilians, including three children. 

Sunday’s ruthless attack represents the deadliest incident of the year thus far, offering irrefutable evidence that Assad’s leadership continues to disregard the well-being of his own people. No amount of international normalization can alter this reality.  We are disheartened that the international community has failed to take action that could have prevented this massacre and urge every nation to stand in solidarity with the Syrian people at this critical moment. Assad cannot be rewarded for his ongoing brutality. He continues to be a major reason for destabilization in Syria and the region.

We implore the international community to unite in denouncing these atrocities and take concrete measures to address the dire humanitarian situation in Syria. While Russia and its collaborators in the Assad regime continue to drop bombs on civilians in markets, US NGOs, namely SETF, are working with the US military to break the siege on the Rukban camp, providing food and safety to those in need. We also implore the international community to remain firm in their stances against normalizing with the criminal Assad regime and to continue providing food and other forms of aid to those in need.