1271 civilians killed in June 2016
SNHR has published its monthly report for the month of June in which it documented the killing of 1271 civilians in June and 6567 civilians in the first half of 2016 at the hands of the main influential parties in Syria.
The report points out the notable and relatively good decline in killing rates after the commencement of the Cessation of Hostilities statement on 27 February 2016 compared to the previous months since March 2011 especially in areas controlled by armed opposition factions given that other areas such the areas controlled by the Democratic Union Parties and the Syrian regime are not targeted with a heavily and daily aerial bombing which is the main cause behind the killing of more than 60% of victims, destruction of building, and displacement of residents. However, one day after the High Negotiation Committee decided to postpone its participation in Geneva talk on 19 April, government forces and Russian forces resumed bombing areas outside the Syrian regime’s control and the killing rates increased back to its former levels before the Cessation of Hostilities.
Additionally, the report notes that SNHR team encounters difficulties in documenting victims from armed opposition factions as many of those victims fall on battlefronts and not inside cities. Also, we aren’t able to obtain details such as names, pictures and other important details on account of the armed opposition forces’ unwillingness to reveal such information for security among other reasons. Therefore, the actual number of victims is much greater than what is being recorded.
The report notes that It is almost impossible to access information about victims from government forces and ISIS, and the margin of error is considerably higher due to the lack of any applicable methodology in this type of documentation. The Syrian government and ISIS don’t publish, reveal, or record their victims. From our perspective, the statistics published by some groups on this category of victims are fictitious and are not based on any actual data.
Therefore, the report only includes civilian victims who were killed by all parties and compare them
The report noted that 3417 civilians were killed by government forces in the first half of 2016 including 590 children (four children are killed every day), 422 women, and no less than 230 individuals due to torture.
The percentage of children and women among civilian victims is 30% which suggests that government forces are deliberately targeting civilians.
Also, the report recorded that 1378 civilians including 310 children and 179 women were killed by allegedly Russian forces.
Self-administration forces killed 78 civilians, including 10 children, three women, and two individuals due to torture.
Furthermore, 785 civilians were killed by extremist Islamic groups as follows:
ISIS killed 764 civilians including 103 children, 146 women, and seven individuals due to torture, while Al-Nussra Front killed 21 civilians including two children, one woman, and two individuals due to torture.
The report also recorded the killing of 462 civilians including 118 children, 109 women, and two individuals due to torture at the hands of armed opposition factions during the first half of 2016.
On the other hand, international coalition forces killed 127 civilians including 54 children and 22 women.
Additionally, the report documented the killing of 266 civilians including 70 children and 38 women who either drowned to death as they were feeling, or in bombings that were carried out by parties that SNHR has not been able to identify or by unknown armed groups to SNHR.
Also, the report included civilian death toll for the month of June 2016 where government forces killed 706 civilians including 101 children (four children are killed every day), 79 women, and 32 individuals at least due to torture.
The report also notes that 187 civilians including 57 children and 32 women were killed by allegedly Russian forces.
Furthermore, self-management forces (consisting mainly of the Democratic Union Party forces, a branch for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) killed 38 civilians including four children and two women.
ISIS killed 116 civilians including 19 children and 10 women.
The report also records that armed opposition factions killed 72 civilians including 17 children and 16 women, while international coalition forces killed 76 civilians including 39 children and 11 in June.
Also, 76 civilians, including 22 children and 11 women, either drowned to death as they were fleeing or in bombings carried out by parties that SNHR has not been able to identify or by unknown armed groups to SNHR.
The report emphasizes that government forces and Russian forces have violated the international human rights law which guarantees the right to life. In addition, there are tens of cases that fulfill all the elements of war crimes in relation to murder. Evidences and proofs, according to hundreds of eyewitnesses’ accounts, suggest that 90% at least of the widespread and single attacks carried out by government forces and its loyal forces were directed against civilians and civilian facilities.
Moreover, Extremist Islamic groups perpetrated a number of extrajudicial killings that amount to war crimes.
The report also notes that some of the armed opposition factions perpetrated extrajudicial killings that amount to war crimes as well. Additionally, the Democratic Union Party forces perpetrated war crimes through the crime of extrajudicial killing.
The report calls on the security council and the relevant international institutions to uphold its responsibilities with respect to the continuous and ceaseless killing crimes, and to press on the Syrian government to cease the indiscriminate and deliberate bombing against civilians.
Furthermore, the report considers the Russian regime, all Shiite militias, and ISIS foreign parties that are effectively involved in the killings, and holds it and all the funders and supporters of the Syrian regime legally and judicially responsible.