Friday July 22, 2022

Islamic Relief is appalled that four young children related to an Islamic Relief aid worker were among multiple civilians killed by an airstrike today in Idlib, northwest Syria. The children were aged 2, 4, 5 and 8 years old.

Islamic Relief strongly condemns the airstrike and the ongoing suffering of children across Syria.

The bombing, just after dawn this morning, hit civilian homes in villages in the west of Idlib, as well as an abandoned chicken farm where several displaced families were sheltering. Initial reports say the strikes killed at least seven civilians, including five children, and seriously wounded at least 12 more. Four of the children who were killed are relatives of an Islamic Relief staff member, and were at their family home when the bombs struck.

In recent weeks there has been a significant escalation in bombing in Idlib again, and today’s latest strike is the most serious yet.

Ahmed Mahmoud*, Islamic Relief’s Syria Country Director, said:

“Our team is devastated and heartbroken by this news, and our prayers are with our colleague and other grieving families at this time. These tragic deaths are felt by the whole Islamic Relief family. 

“In their short lives these young children had already had to flee their old home to try and escape the violence, but there is nowhere here that is truly safe. Eleven years into the crisis, the children of Idlib are still not safe even in their own homes.

“In Idlib people feel like the world has forgotten about children in Syria, but they continue to suffer every day. We see malnutrition rising and people are struggling to feed their families as food prices escalate and job opportunities are scarce. Many children are dropping out of school to try and find casual labour or work on the streets, just to afford some bread to see them through the day. Now the bombing is increasing again as well.”

After 11 years, the situation in Syria remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 12 million people have had to flee their homes – many of them repeatedly. More than 85% of the population is in need of aid and nearly 90% are now living in poverty. Yet the UN-led humanitarian appeal for 2022 has less than a quarter of the funding it needs, and aid is drying up.

ENDS

About Islamic Relief 

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way. 

Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo.  Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations. 

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