Including 19 Massacres at the Hands of the Syrian-Russian Regime
I. Executive Summary
On December 30, 2016, a comprehensive ceasefire was announced in Syria under a Russian-Turkish sponsorship. The parties signing to the statement – the Syrian regime, on one hand, and armed opposition factions, on the other hand, pledged to cease all combat operations including aerial airstrikes, and cease all raids and advancements on the ground. However, military ISIS-held areas (Self-proclaimed the Islamic State) were excluded from the agreement. Since the Ankara Ceasefire Agreement went into effect, there has been a decent and notable drop in the rates of killing throughout Syria in comparison with the previous months from March 2011 until now. The main focus here is the areas under the control of armed opposition factions, as the Syrian regime-held areas aren’t subjected to heavy, daily aerial bombardment, which has resulted in the killing of no less than 60% of the victims, and destroyed buildings, displacing the people of Syria.
Nonetheless, breaches haven’t stopped, mainly by the Syrian regime, who is seemingly the party that would be affected the most should the ceasefire go on, especially crimes of extrajudicial killing, and, more horrendously, deaths due to torture, which strongly proves that there is some sort of ceasefire on the table. The crimes, however, that the international community wasn’t able to notice, and particularly the Turkish and Russian sponsors, are still ongoing as nothing has changed in that regard.
SNHR documented no less than 28 massacres in February 2017 which were distributed as follows:
A. Syrian regime forces (Army, security, local militias, Shiite foreign militias): 13
B. Russian Forces: 6
C. International coalition forces: 1
D. Other parties: 8