UK charity school in Syrian camp destroyed in regime shelling

Thu, 2021-06-10 18:25

LONDON: A British charity’s school in a Syrian camp for internally displaced people (IDP) was destroyed by artillery shelling on Wednesday.

The Al-Abrar camp school, which was run by Syria Relief, the UK’s largest Syria-focused charity, consisted of three classroom tents.

It was razed after the camp came under heavy bombardment an hour before students and teachers were due to start the school day.

Despite the school and a mosque being destroyed, no one was killed or injured, according to reports.

Al-Abrar camp serves hundreds of refugees and is near the village of Al-Sawaghiyah in Idlib, which has been targeted heavily by the regime forces of President Bashar Assad.

Syria Relief operates 306 schools inside Syria, making them the largest non-governmental provider of education in the country.

The charity’s chief executive, Othman Moqbel described the regime’s continued assault on Syrian schools “heinous,” and called for forces on both sides of the decade-long conflict to stop targeting educational facilities.

“Once again we have seen an educational facility in Syria targeted by military actors,” Moqbel said, adding: “This is the eighth Syria Relief school to have been damaged or destroyed by military action in the past two years.”

Moqbel said: “We have seen time and time again in the Syrian conflict that schools are being treated as military targets — children at their school desks are no threat to anyone and it is heinous that they are frequently the target of military attacks.”

He added: “What makes this even more disgusting is that it was an attack on a school in an IDP camp, for children who are living in tents because they have fled their homes in fear for their lives. This school was just three large tents which served as classrooms — is this too much to ask? That children, without a home, without a school building, should be able to learn?

“As we have done the past seven times our schools were attacked, we call on military actors in this conflict to cease the targeting of schools and all civilian life and for the international community to bring those who continue to try to bomb children to justice.”

Moqbel thanked emergency services, the White Helmets, for their assistance in responding to the attack.

The Al-Abrar camp school, which was run by Syria Relief, the UK’s largest Syria-focused charity, consisted of three classroom tents. (Supplied/Syria Relief)
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Source: Middle east