All Parties (Except for the Syrian Regime) have Killed less than 15,000 Syrian Civilians
SNHR has released a report that contains an update on the death toll of civilian victims, women victims, children victims, victims who died due to torture, death toll among medical personnel and media activists who were killed at the hands of the main six parties that kill civilians in Syria.
The statistics included in the report are based on the daily documentation process that has been ongoing since 2011 where SNHR, through its members who are scattered throughout Syria, monitors the killings of victims and publishes the most notable developments and highlights the massacres.
According to the report, the Syrian regime, before any other party emerged, started the killing by shooting live bullets at demonstrators which was followed by a gradual escalation in the use of weapon from tanks to artillery to chemical weapons, barrel bombs, and Scud missiles. Additionally, the regime tortured detainees to death inside its detention centers. the total number of victims who were killed at the hands of the Syrian regime amounts to 188,279 civilians.
The report says that the Syrian regime, as any other mafia regime, acted in a blatantly brutal and apathetic manner disregarding all international laws, and even Syrian laws, and became something that is more of a group of controlling circles that are devoid of any nationalistic or humanitarian values as hospitals and schools were attacked and civil neighborhoods and objects were bombed in a way that has never been seen before in the modern age.
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, adds:
“What makes us feel the need to reemphasize what is already known and well-established in the evolution of the popular uprising into an armed conflict is the western mindset that is still exclusively focused on fighting transnational extremist Islamic groups and has overlooked the terrorism of the ruling regime and the transnational militias that allied with the regime even though these groups have been the main responsible for the killings and have vastly surpassed all the other parties in committing all kinds of crimes and violations in Syria.”
The report notes that even though ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate, emerged on 9 April 2013, Russian forces, who claimed that they came to fight ISIS, have killed more Syrian civilians than ISIS itself where 3558 civilians were killed by Russian forces compared to the 2998 civilians killed at the hands of ISIS. Furthermore, civilian casualties who were killed at the hands of the international coalition forces, amounted to 669 civilians according to the report, exceeded the number of victims who were killed by Fateh Al Sham Front who killed 372 civilians.
According to the report, Kurdish Self-management forces, who are primarily consisting of the Democratic Union Party forces – the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Syria- killed no less than 215 civilians in Syria whereas all armed opposition factions, including those who are regarded as Islamic, killed no less than 3668 civilians.
The report stresses that the Syrian regime and its ally Russian forces tops all the other parties with a percentage that amounts to 93% of the total killings that have been perpetrated in Syria since the eruption of the popular uprising in March 2011. The Syrian regime possesses an air force, fixed-wing warplanes and helicopters, that is capable of bombing using missiles and by dropping barrel bombs. Aerial bombardment alone was responsible for 30% at least of the total death toll while shelling using heavy artillery and tanks was the cause behind the death of no less than 18% of all causalities. The cause of death for the remaining death toll varied between different kinds of weapons but most importantly are machine guns, snipers, mortar shells, chemical weapons, and cluster munitions and finally slaughter using knives.
The report notes that first and foremost, the responsibility falls upon the state and its apparatuses to protect the people. However, when the state apparatuses are merely a tool for violence in the hands of the ruling regime who is killing and destroying the people and the state and continues to do so for days, months, and years with no one to put an end to the crimes, there has to be an international system in place which was one of the main reasons behind the establishing of the norm of the Responsibly to Protect – established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005. The Syrian state has failed to protect the people and, even more, the current regime insists on perpetrating crimes systematically according to the reports of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, which is affiliated to the Human Rights Council. Thus, the burden, weeks after the popular uprising broke out, had shifted to the international community who must, in accordance with paragraph 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, take action collectively through the Security Council in accordance with articles 41 and 42 of the Charter of the United Nations. Nonetheless, the Security Council didn’t take any steps due to the protection provided by Russia and China for the Syrian regime which sends a message to the totalitarian states of the world that by only signing a deal with a totalitarian state who is a permanent member of the Security Council, you can enjoy immunity, care, and diplomatic and political support.
The report hold the international community, represented by the Security Council, fully responsible for the protection of civilians and calls for recording all what is happening in detail in order to hold the criminals and their accomplices accountable throughout ages.