[2 March 2017, GENEVA] One week into Syria’s peace talks, the number of reported violations of international humanitarian law is surging – threatening to undermine peace talks. In a new report released yesterday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights documented 55 major ceasefire violations since 22 February, a staggering 88% of which were committed by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies. The violations, which include the unlawful killing of civilians, arbitrary arrests and indiscriminate bombardment, resulted in at least 282 civilian deaths, including 54 children and 35 women.
“Since the start of the Geneva process, our monitors have documented a major increase in ceasefire violations, particularly by the Syrian regime and its allies,” Fadel Abdul Ghany of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a leading Syrian human rights monitoring group, said. “Civilians and vital facilities like hospitals are being targeted at an increased pace, and we are receiving credible reporting that sieges are tightening, including most dramatically in the al Waer neighborhood of Homs City. These violations must stop now – the viability of the political process in Geneva depends on it.”