SNHR has published the report: “No less than 242 Breaches of the Cessation of Hostilities in the First Week, and Government Forces Uses Incendiary Weapons” which monitors no less than 242 main breaches after a week since the Cessation of Hostilities ceasefire went into effect at 7:00 PM – Syria time- last Monday. The report notes that 219 breaches were carried out through combat operations including 203 breaches at the hands of government forces and 10 by alleged Russian forces in addition to six breaches that are carried out by armed opposition factions.
Also, 32 breaches in the form of arrests were recorded: 18 arrests at the hands of government forces and five at the hands of Self-management forces.
The report notes that the Cessation of Hostilities statement holds within the reasons for its meltdown which revolves around two fundamental limitations:
First: The Russian government is a sponsoring party to the Cessation of Hostilities statement with the American government. However, Russian forces are actively fighting and siding with Bashar Al Assad forces in Syria and have been involved in tens of crimes that constitute war crimes. If Russia was to play the role of a meditator, it should first withdraw its forces and abstain from directly siding with one of the conflict parties.
Second: In case the Russian forces breached the ceasefire, and these breaches were documented, what would be the accountability mechanism in this respect given that Russian forces are a party to the agreement and to the accountability as well? and what is the accountability mechanism for the Syrian regime, the Russian regime’s partner in breaching the ceasefire?
Furthermore, the report stresses that no aids being delivered to the eastern suburbs of eastern Aleppo via the Castello Road was recorded even though it was a part of the Cessation of Hostilities statement. Also, the siege hasn’t been lifted in any areas and not even one detainee was released. However, it was recorded that aids were delivered to Talbisa city in Homs suburbs.
The report sheds light on the details of the breaches that were documented after the first 72 hours which amounted to 178 breaches.
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
“It is undeniable that the Cessation of Hostilities statement of February 2016 has prevented a lot of bloodshed and destruction in the following month March 2016. We indeed have noticed a significant decrease in death toll and destruction mainly because the aerial bombardment by the Russian and Syrian regimes warplanes, which are the main cause of the killing and destruction, have been ceased. We have affirmed repeatedly that by only banning aerial warfare in Syria, 70% of the death toll would be spared.”
The report calls on the joint American-Russian committee to investigate these incidents as soon as possible and to make the findings of these investigations public for the Syrian people. Also, the Committee should prevent a reoccurrence.
Additionally, the report asserts that the United States of America, The United States of America, being a primary sponsor, should ask the Russian side to pressure on its ally the Syrian regime to cease the violations and breaches that it perpetrated and to start lifting the siege, immediately allow the passage of humanitarian aids, and release detainees.
Also, the report emphasizes that the international community should, in synchronization with the Cessation of Hostilities, work on initiating a political process towards a transitional phase that would result in a democratic regime which will put a real end to the suffering of the Syrian people.