28 people are dead and 50 wounded after what are presumed to be Russian or Syrian warplanes attacked a refugee camp, the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights reports. The BBC reports:
At least 28 people are reported to have been killed in an air strike on a refugee camp in rebel-held northern Syria, monitors say.Images on social media showed tents destroyed at the Kamouna camxp near Sarmada in Idlib province, close to the Turkish border.Some reports say the attack was by Syrian or Russian warplanes but this has not been confirmed.The strike comes a day after the extension of a truce was confirmed.The Syrian military and non-jihadist rebel forces had agreed to a temporary truce around the city of Aleppo, following pressure from the US and Russia.
All the usual caveats apply: this is breaking news from a combat zone, Russian and/or Syrian involvement has not been confirmed (although who else would it be, in that area?), and it may in theory have been an accident. However, coming a week after Syrian/Russian warplanes struck a hospital in Aleppo, killing 50, it beggars belief to think this isn’t a continuation of the Russian-Syrian policy of deliberately terrorizing and driving out unfriendly civilians from areas they intend to hold after the war is over—what TAI Editor Adam Garfinkle has termed “migratory genocide.”As Adam wrote in his latest column:
[T]he fall of Aleppo won’t mean the reconstitution of Syria as we knew it before the spring of 2011. It means that we will be closer to a de facto partition of Syria into a rump state to the west and a gray zone to the east.The rump state will be much less Sunni than its territories were just a few years ago as a result of the policy of migratory genocide against Sunni communities, neighborhood by neighborhood, in order to separate rebels from their sources of sustenance. The civilians flee, making it easier to find, kill, and conquer what’s left. That’s why regime forces, or more likely the Russians, bomb hospitals, schools, bakeries, food warehouses, and occasionally mosques. This works at least to some extent, depending on circumstances. It worked for the Russians in a limited way for a while in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and if Afghanistan had been a mainly urban country it might have worked even better. And it worked in Chechnya after that.[…]The least likely outcome by far is real peace, stability, and serious efforts at refugee resettlement and reconstruction. Surely those million or so newly arrived Syrians within the EU are not headed home; it is far more likely that another million or three will wish to join them, with all that such wishing entails. There must be no illusions about this in Europe, or here in the United States.
So the Russians and the Assad regime presses forward with their murderous plans. And if the BBC report is anything to go by, the Europeans and the U.S. are going to respond by continuing to wring our hands, issue statements, and… that’s about it.