Including 43 Massacres at the Hands of the Syrian and Russian Regime
SNHR has published its monthly report documenting the massacres perpetrated by the conflict parties for the month of November.
The report outlines the toll of the massacres perpetrated in November 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 47 massacres in November 2016 including 27 at the hands of government forces and 16 massacres by forces we believe are Russian whereas one massacre was committed by armed opposition factions and three massacres by the international coalition forces.
According to the report, government forces committed eight massacres in Damascus suburbs, six in Idlib, five in Aleppo, three in Deir Ez-Zour, and two in homs, two in Daraa, and one massacre in Hama. Furthermore, Russian forces committed 10 massacres in Aleppo, five in Idlib, and one in Homs. Also, one massacre was committed by armed opposition factions in Aleppo while international coalition forces committed three massacres in Al Raqqa.
The report notes that these massacres have resulted in the killing of 453 individuals including 173 children and 77 women which means that 56% 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 November where government forces killed 254 individuals including 102 children and 39 women in the massacres they committed in November while the number of victims who have fallen in the massacres perpetrated by Russian forces was 158 individuals including 56 children and 29 women. Furthermore, eight children were killed in the massacre committed by armed opposition factions whereas 33 civilians including seven children and nine women have fallen in the massacres committed by the international coalition forces.
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 rules 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.
Moreover, 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 couldn’t confirm that there were 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 to 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 as well as the Independent International 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.