382 amongst which were killed by Russian Forces
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR) has issued its monthly report for February 2016, documenting the deaths of 1,378 civilians.
These are the deaths for which evidence has been collected, but it is expected that many undocumented civilian deaths have also occurred.
Difficulty of reporting non-civilian deaths
In the report, SN4HR highlights the great difficulty of documenting the combat deaths of members of armed opposition factions: (a) they generally occur on front lines in rural areas; (b) these factions prefer not to release such information; (c) there are security issues. It is therefore extremely difficult to collect either pictorial evidence or to obtain individuals’ names. As a result, the number of deaths in the report is limited to documented civilian casualties. The actual number of deaths is believed to be much higher.
Deaths amongst government forces and ISIS
Similarly, obtaining information about deaths among government forces or ISIS is virtually impossible. The margin of error in documenting these deaths is assumed to be high, since there is an absence on methodology in documenting these incidents and, in SN4HR’s view, the statistics issued by some parties are fictitious.
Civilian deaths at the hands of government forces and pro-government militias
Civilian death toll 651 civilians
Of which children 182 (7 per day)
Of which women 110
Women and children as a % 45%
Deaths under torture 31
The high death toll among women and children is an indicator that government forces are deliberately targeting civilians.
Civilian deaths at the hands of armed opposition factions
Civilian death toll 84 civilians
Of which children 21
Of which women 18
Civilian deaths at the hands of suspected Russian forces
Civilian death toll 382
Of which children 21
Of which women 63
Civilian deaths at the hands of Kurdish self-management forces
Civilian death toll 9
Of which children 3
Civilian deaths at the hands of extremist Islamic groups
Civilian death toll 208
By ISIS 207 (of which 28 children, 51 women)
By al-Nusra Front 1 (under torture)
Other civilian deaths
SN4HR has documented the death of 42 civilians (including 13 children and 7 women):
• in migrant boat drowning incidents
• in explosions where the perpetrators could not be identified or where the armed groups responsible were unknown to SN4HR.
Civilian deaths at the hands of International Coalition forces
SN4HR has documented the death of 2 victims one of them is a child
Killings which constitute war crimes and violations of international law
The report stresses that government forces and Shabeiha (groups of armed Alawite militia in support of al-Assad’s Ba’ath Party government) violate international laws for human rights which protect the right to life. Dozens of incidents have also been recorded which have all the characteristics of a war crime. Evidence collected from hundreds of eyewitnesses indicate that 90% of the widespread and individual attacks were perpetrated against civilians or civilian objects, including by extremist groups, armed opposition factions, and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
A plea to the UN Security Council
The report asks the UN Security Council and the relevant international institutions to shoulder their responsibilities regarding the continuous and continual killings. It calls upon them to exert pressure on the Syrian government to halt its arbitrary and random bombardments against civilian targets. The report also holds Russia, Iran, and China – the Syrian government’s allies and supporters – morally and materially co-responsible for these deaths.