The Russian Regime is a Partner in the Displacement of the Syrian People
SNHR has published its 17th report since the Russian attacks in Syria begun on 30 September 2015. This report focuses on the targeting of medical centers from the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria until 31 August 2016.
The report notes that attacks on medical centers haven’t stopped after the Cessation of Hostilities went into force on 27 February 2016, and it even escalated alarmingly after the High Negotiation Committee’s decision to postpone its participation in Geneva talk on 19 April 2016 where, as the time of this writing, no less than 30 medical centers have been targeted since then.
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says: “Russian forces’ attacks on medical centers and medics are a blatant violation of the international humanitarian law and amount to a war crime on account of the fact that these attacks are indiscriminate and in many cases deliberately targeted protected objects. These attacks have deepened the agonies of the wounded and injured and is one of the main causes of the displacement of the Syrian people as it sends a very clear message: there is no safe area or a red line including hospitals, you either flee or perish.”
The report draws upon the daily documentation and monitoring and includes accounts by survivors, victims’ families, and eyewitnesses.
The report documents the targeting of no less than 59 medical centers by attacks that are suspectedly Russian including five facilities that were targeted more than once. 84% of the attacks occurred in Aleppo and Idlib governorates.
According to the report, these attacks resulted in the killing of 86 civilians including eight children and 13 women. Also, 26 out of the 86 civilian victims were medical personnel.
The report notes that the Russian regime has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 through the practices of indiscriminate bombardment. Also, the Russian regime violated many rules of the international humanitarian law and committed tens of crimes that amount to war crimes through the indiscriminate bombardment which was also disproportionate in its use of excessive force.
According to the report, Russian forces perpetrated a violation that constitute a war crime through targeting medical centers with an indiscriminate, and in many cases, deliberate bombardment on objects that are supposedly protected.
The report calls on the Russian forces to conduct investigations with regard to the incident mentioned in the report and make the findings of these investigation public for the Syrian people. Also, the report calls on the Russian forces to hold all those who are responsible accountable in addition to redress all the damaged hospital, and reconstruct and re-prepare these hospitals. Additionally, all victims’ families and wounded must be remedied.
Furthermore, the report emphasizes the necessity to completely cease the targeting of hospitals, protected objects, and civil areas, and respect the customary international law.
The report urges the Security Council to take further steps as it has been two years since Resolution 2139 has been adopted and there haven’t been any commitments to cease the indiscriminate bombing.
The report affirms that the Security Council has to instill security and peace in Syria and implement the norm of the Responsibility to Protect in order to protect the lives, culture, and history of the Syrian people from being stolen and ruined. Also, the report calls on the Security Council to expand the sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.
The report calls on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit a report to the Human Rights Council and other organs of the United Nations on this massacre specifically considering that it was perpetrated by forces which we suspect to be Russian.
Moreover, the report recommends that the norm Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) must be implemented after all political channels through the Arab League’s plan and then Mr. Kofi Annan’s plan were drought out. Therefore, steps under Article 7 of the Rome Stature must be taken and the norm of the Responsibility to Protect, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly, must be implemented. The Security Council is still hindering the protection of civilians in Syria.
Finally, the report calls on to renew the pressure on the Security Council to refer the case in Syria to the International Criminal Court.