The ongoing, brutal civil war in Syria has been the scene of acts that may constitute war crimes, according to Amnesty International. These acts have been perpetrated both by Syrian and Russian elements. The findings of Amnesty International are detailed in a recently published 39-page report.

The U.K.-based human rights group has detailed 18 cases wherein either Russian or Syrian troops indiscriminately targeted civilians or civilian targets. Most of the cases occurred in the last year between May 5, 2019, and February 20, 2020. The group said that these 18 attacks struck schools and medical facilities in Idlib, Hama, and western Aleppo. 

Amnesty International reported that prior to the recent ceasefire, about one million residents of Idlib, many of whom have been repeatedly displaced, were once again forced out. They have been living in dreadful conditions along the sealed Turkish border for the past several months. 

Heba Morayef, the Middle East and North Africa Director of Amnesty International had to say the following, “Even by the standards of Syria’s calamitous nine-year crisis, the displacement and humanitarian emergency sparked by the latest onslaught on Idlib has been unprecedented. The UN Security Council must not cut the vital lifeline of cross-border humanitarian aid while thousands of lives hang in the balance.”

“The latest offensive continued an abhorrent pattern of widespread and systematic attacks aimed at terrorizing the civilian population,” she added. 

“Meanwhile, Russia has continued to provide invaluable military support — including by directly carrying out unlawful airstrikes — despite evidence that it is facilitating the Syrian military’s commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The organization said the attacks in question included three ground attacks and two barrel-bomb attacks by Syrian military forces, as well as airstrikes conducted by both Russians and Syrians.

Amnesty International interviewed 74 people, including internally displaced people, teachers, doctors, and humanitarian workers. They provided accounts of the conditions to the local and international aid workers and U.N. staff members for the 39-page report.