On January 15, two explosions occurred at the University of Aleppo as students were sitting for exams. Reports indicate that the explosions resulted in at least 82 civilian deaths and approximately 160 seriously injured. Many students and faculty of the university were among the casualties. Student activists blamed the Syrian army for the attack, while Syria’s state-run SANA news service stated that unspecified “terrorist groups” were responsible.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on higher education communities. State and non-state parties to conflict have a responsibility to protect civilians and higher education facilities, to refrain from unlawful targeting of educational facilities, and to conduct their activities in ways that reduce civilian casualties and respect human rights.