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Two years pass since massacre of pens and people don't forget its terrifying scenes (feature)

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Editing: Hasan Borhan |
TranslationEditor: Farah Nassif |
Translation: Glory Jabr
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Publication date: 2018/10/29 12:46

Idlib - SMART

Two years have passed since the Syrian government warplanes committed the "massacre of pens." The massacre killed and wounded dozens of children after targeting schools in the town of Hass in Southern Idlib, Northern Syria. The people of Hass did not forget scenes and details of this painful memory, therefore, they always organize events to stress their demands to hold the one who killed their children accountable.

On Oct. 26, 2016, the Syrian government warplanes committed a massacre, killing 34 civilians, including 14 students, four teachers, and three forcibly displaced people, as a result of very explosive bomb attacks.

On Sunday, the teacher Rajaa, who was in the location of the shelling, reported that the shelling began at about 9:45 Syrian time. Rajaa added, "We heard an explosion during the third session, and minutes later we heard the sound of another raid by the warplane. The students were terrified, and we lost control over them despite our attempts to convince them that the warplane left. We were wondering what had happened when the warplane carried out a third raid close to the school."

Rajaa stated that students and teachers began to leave the school randomly. She added, "I went out on the road to my house as usual. I thought I strayed away due to the bodies and the destruction there, so I went from another road, which was worse."

Rajaa said, "As I was passing through the road, I saw one of my students crying after the shelling amputated her leg. I stopped a little and told her that the ambulance would come to transfer her and I walked. I entered my aunt's house and heard a warning of a new raid. My aunt threw me on the floor and reclined over me. Meanwhile, shrapnel hit her back and killed her."

Marwa described the scenes she had seen at that moment of shelling as "cruel and unforgettable forever." Marwa said, "The neighborhood was destroyed and its rubble fell over some people. There was chaos and wounded people lying in the street with their hands and legs amputated."

On the second anniversary of the massacre of pens in the town of Hass, activists and Free Police organized on Saturday a civic activity, including a children's play and speeches by teachers and students.

The Dean of the Education Faculty at the University of Aleppo, Khalid al-Da'eef, said that he participated in the event to emphasize the continuation of the educational process, “and to teach children to complete their education to graduate a generation that builds nations and not destroys, despite the hatred and aggression of the regime and its supporters.”

Khalid added, "I am the father of a girl who was killed by the shelling. I took from her determination in education. She is the energy that drives me to teach and graduate teachers who build their country with love and science. They are peace messengers and not terrorists as they describe them."

A Free Police member, Mohammed, asserted the need to hold the Syrian government accountable for the massacre. Mohammed said, "I am one of the members who saw the massacre. We rescued the wounded children and transferred the dead bodies. It was an incredible day. We demand that the regime will be tried internationally."

A year ago, the Human Rights Watch reported that the Syrian government and Russian attack on schools in the town of Hass could be a “war crime.” The Secretary-General of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) also described what happened as tragedy and violation, which could be a war crime if intended.