250,000 People under Siege Are being Killed and Bombed and the Goal is a Demographic Change while the Security Council is Standing Idly by
SNHR has released its report: “Aleppo’s Eastern Neighborhoods are being Torn Apart by the Shells of the Russian and Syrian Forces, A Detailed Account of the Violations One Week after the Second Cessation of Hostilities Statement”
which draws upon the archive that has been built through daily and ongoing monitoring and documentation over the course of the period covered by the report in addition to accounts on the incidents by survivors and eyewitnesses.
The report notes that government forces and its ally Russian forces have escalated the indiscriminate attacks and military operations throughout Syria and especially in Aleppo’s Eastern neighborhoods after the Cessation of Hostilities ceasefire ended on Monday 19 September 2016.
Furthermore, the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo have been under siege since the beginning of September 2016 where the medical situation is aggressively deteriorating in light of the severe shortage in medical resources and the hospitals’ and medical points’ incapability to take in the huge number of injuries. Additionally, the Syrian regime and its allies are preventing any aids to enter the city and anyone from going in or out
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
““The responsibility for the systematic killing and destruction that are being recorded every hour doesn’t only fall upon the Syrian, Russian, and Iranian regimes, but also all the states in the Security Council bears responsibility and even all the official of the United Nations and decision makers around the world. The people of Aleppo won’t be saved by phrases of condemnation and denouncement. People with moderate injuries are dying due to medication and treatment shortages.”
The report documents the killing of 171 civilians where Russian forces killed 114 civilians including 26 children and 19 women while government forces killed 57 civilians including 11 children and seven women.
Moreover, the report records that Russian forces committed seven massacres and was responsible for 10 attacks on vital civil facilities whereas government forces committed two massacres and attacked two vital civil facilities.
Additionally, the report documents four attacks that involved the use of incendiary weapons by forces we believe are Russian while government forces dropped 94 barrel bombs on the eastern neighborhoods in Aleppo city in addition to 112 missiles at least fired by government forces while forces we believe are Russian have fired no less than 282 missiles from the end of the Cessation of Hostilities at 7:00 PM on Monday 19 September 2016 until 7:00 PM on Sunday 25 September 2016.
The report asserts that the Russian and Syrian regimes have, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, they violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
Also, the report says that the attack targeted armless civilians. Therefore, the Russian and Syrian forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report recommends that the incidents included in this report are to be investigated, inform the Syrian people about the results and hold the perpetrators accountable, compensate the affected centers and facilities and rebuild and re-prepare them, and redress for all the families of the victims and wounded who were killed by the present the Russian regime.
Also, the recommendations included that the Security Council take additional steps as it has been a year since Resolution 2254 was adopted which states explicitly “that all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such, including attacks against medical facilities and personnel, and any indiscriminate use of weapons, including through shelling and aerial bombardment.”
Lastly, the report emphasized the necessity to refer the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court and hold all those who are involved accountable including the Russian regime whose involvement in perpetrating war crimes has been proven. Also, security and peace must be instilled in Syria and the norm of the Responsibility to Protect must be implemented in order to save the Syrians’ lives, culture, and arts from being destroyed, stolen, and ruined, and to expand the sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regime who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.