Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Aleppo’s Ain Jalout School Massacre nine years ago

On the 30th of April 2014, the Assad regime military bombarded a school in the Ansari neighborhood in the northeast area of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Local activists documented shocking images of children’s body parts in the crime scene torn apart by the force of the attack.

Damage inside Ain Jalout School after the massacre; Credit: AMC/AFP

On the same day, an exhibition of children’s drawings was scheduled to open after the official working hours in Ain Jalout School, located at that time in an area under the control of the opposition. Dozens of children were gathered for the event when Assad’s military hit them with a devastating missile (some say a barrel bomb) that tore apart their young bodies.

“Pictures from the school showed blood on corridor walls and debris in classrooms”

A Reuters report

The Aleppo Media Center reported that more than 25 people had been killed, most of them children, and scores wounded, while in their classrooms.

The strike on the school “appeared to be part of the sustained bombardment of the contested northern city by Assad’s forces,” Reuters reported.

“Pictures from the school showed blood on corridor walls and debris in classrooms,” the Reuters report said, adding that “more than a dozen bodies which appeared to be children laid out on a tiled floor.”

There was no international comment on the massacre, apart from timid condemnation from the United Nations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) condemned the attack in a nonspecific statement that referred to “the escalation of attacks targeting schools and other civilian targets that have caused dozens of deaths and injuries among children, despite all calls to stop this crazy cycle of violence.”

From 2014 until August 2019, the UN verified over 385 attacks on education facilities and military use of over 50 schools

UNICEF

UNICEF Middle East and North Africa spokeswoman Juliette Touma told Al Jazeera at the time that children in Syria were being targeted with mortars, barrel bombs, and car bombs, adding that Syria was no longer a safe zone for children.

Activists said that the raid came despite the conclusion of a truce between the opposition and the regime’s army. Activists broadcast a video of the aftermath of the shelling of the Ain Jalout School and showed the remains of children scattered at the site.

From 2014 until August 2019, the UN verified over 385 attacks on education facilities and military use of over 50 schools, according to a UNICEF report, adding that two in five schools in Syria had either been damaged or destroyed. By 2021, the percentage had risen to three out of five schools. 

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