Including 26 Massacres at the Hands of the Syrian and Russian Regimes
SNHR has published its monthly report documenting the massacres perpetrated by the conflict parties.
The report outlines the toll of the massacres perpetrated in October 2016 where the report describes an incident as a massacre if it involved the killing of five peaceful individuals at the same time. Based on this definition, the report documents the occurrence of 34 massacres in October 2016 including 13 at the hands of government forces and 13 massacres by forces we believe are Russian whereas two massacres were committed by armed opposition factions, two massacres were committed by international coalition forces, and one massacre by ISIS in addition to three massacres where the report wasn’t able to identify their perpetrators.
According to the report, government forces committed six massacres in Damascus suburbs, three in Idlib, one massacre in Daraa, one massacre in Hama, one massacres in Homs, and one massacre in Deir Ez-Zour while Russian forces perpetrated nine massacres in Aleppo and four in Idlib. ISIS committed one massacre in Al Hasakah, and two massacres in Aleppo were committed by armed opposition factions while international coalition forces committed two massacres in Al Raqqa. Moreover, three massacres were committed by unidentified groups.
The report notes that these massacres have resulted in the killing of 381 individuals including 123 children and 59 women which means that 48% of the total number of victims were women and children which is an extremely high percentage that indicates that civilian residents were targeted in most of these massacres.
The report breaks down the death toll of the massacres of October where government forces killed 106 individuals including 44 children and 19 women in the massacres they committed in October while the number of victims who have fallen in the massacre perpetrated by Russian forces was 179 individuals including 48 children and 29 women. Furthermore, 35 individuals, including 10 children, were killed in the massacre committed by ISIS while armed opposition factions killed 17 civilians including seven children and one woman. In addition, international coalition forces killed 22 civilians including nine children and eight women. Lastly, 22 individuals including five children and two women were killed in massacres committed by unidentified groups.
The report affirms that the bombing incidents, whether it was deliberate or indiscriminate, targeted armless civilians, thus, government forces and Russian forces have violated the articles of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Furthermore, these violations were perpetrated during a non-international armed conflict which amount to war crimes as all elements of a war crime have been fulfilled.
Furthermore, these attacks, especially bombing, have resulted in collateral damage that involved casualties, injuries, and damages to civil facilities. There are strong indicators that prove that the damage was deeply severe compared to the estimated military benefit. In all of the cases, we didn’t find any military targets before or during these attacks.
Additionally, the magnitude of the massacres, its frequent pattern, the exaggerated use of strength, its military nature, the indiscriminate manner of the bombing, and the coordinated approach of these attacks must be based on high orders, and a state policy.
The report calls for referring the case in Syria the International Criminal Court and stop the disrupting of the decisions that must be adopted by the Security Council against the Syrian government. This disruption is a wrong message to all dictatorships around the world and supports the culture of crime. Also, immediate sanctions must be imposed on all individuals involved in widespread human rights violations.
Moreover, the report calls for binding the Syrian government to allow all relief and human rights organizations to enter Syria, in addition to the International Intendent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and journalists and let them work without any obstructions.
The report emphasizes that all militias that are fighting with the Syrian government and have committed widespread massacres such as Hezbollah, other Shiite brigades, National Defense Army, and “Shabiha”, must be listed on the international list of terrorist organizations.
Finally, the report calls for the implementation of “Responsibility to Protect” norm which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, in Syria as it is direly needed there.