The Least the UN could Do is to Protect Medical Facilities
SNHR has published the report: “The Syrian Regime Targets the Last Medical Point in Madaya Town” which documents the targeting of the last medical point in the town which was rendered out of commission after the targeting.
The report says that on Sunday 4 December 2016, Syrian regime forces and pro-government militias (Mainly Hezbollah militias) launched a military campaign against Madaya town that involved barrel bombs, mortar shells, and surface-to-surface rockets that were fired from military checkpoints surrounding the city – most notably: “Qal’at Al Tal checkpoint, Qal’at AL Kursi checkpoint, and Al Hersh checkpoint…” This campaign, according to the report, resulted in huge destruction in the town’s infrastructure. In addition, no less than eight individuals have been killed including three children and two civil defense members from 4 December until the date of this writing. Also, no less than 58 individuals were injured including two civil defense members and 36 critical cases
The report notes that according to some residents from Madaya town, the campaign came as a retaliation to armed opposition factions shelling the pro-regime Kafrayya and Al Fou’a towns after government forces intensified the shelling in Idlib governorate, so regime forces and Hezbollah militias retaliated by shelling Madaya town.
According to the report, on Monday 5 December 2016, around 17:00, government forces helicopters dropped two barrel bombs near the last medical point in Madaya town which was providing medical services for more than 40,000 individuals in the town. After civil defense and aid teams arrived, government forces helicopters resumed the bombing by dropping two more barrel bombs. The bombing resulted in great destruction in the medical point building and damaged its equipment. As a result, the bombing was rendered out of commission. Additionally, the surrounding and nearby residential houses were heavily destroyed.
The report relies on accounts by city residents, eyewitnesses, survivors where the report includes two accounts. Also, included in the report pictures that show the great destruction in the medical point and the damages to the equipment that resulted from the bombing.
The report notes that the targeted areas were civil areas where no military centers or weapon warehouses for extremist Islamic groups were found before or during the attack.
The report asserts that the Syrian regime has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, the regime violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
The report says that the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, government 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 amounts to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps after Resolution 2139 was adopted and no pledges to cease the indiscriminate bombardment operations have been made. All the conflict parties must respect these steps and adhere to the rules of the international humanitarian law.
The report says that the Syrian case must be referred to the International Criminal Court and all those who were involved must be held accountable. Also, the norm of the Responsibility to Protect must be implemented in order to protect the lives, culture, and history of the Syrian people from being destroyed, looted, and ruined. Additionally, sanctions must be expanded to include the Syrian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.