Nine Civilians Killed, Including Three Children and one Fetus
SNHR has released a report entitled: “Even IDPs weren’t Safe from the Syrian Regime’s Attacks in Daraa City” which documents a massacre that took place in al Shayyaha area, Daraa, on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
The report draws upon a number of accounts from city residents, eyewitnesses, and survivors. The report included two accounts, as well as pictures and videos. these pictures showed the great destruction that resulted from the bombardment, in addition to pictures showing children victims.
According to the report, the targeted areas are civilian areas, where no military bases or weapon warehouses for armed opposition factions or extremist Islamic groups were found before or during the attack. Also, Syrian regime forces didn’t issue a warning for the civilians prior to the attack, as the international humanitarian law requires.
The report says that on Sunday, April 30, 2017, around 12:00, three Syrian regime helicopters soared over al Shayyah area, before dropping 10 barrel bombs on an IDPs residential gathering in al Khawabi, southern al Shayyah area, which resulted in the killing of nine civilians, including three children, one fetus, and two women (adult female). Additionally, 10 others were injured and residences were heavily damaged.
The report notes that Al Shayyah area houses over 1000 IDPs from Daraa city who live in residences that were built to take in IDPs from Daraa areas. Apparently, Syrian regime forces deliberately targeted civilian IDPs, as the massacre was preceded by a mortar shelling that targeted the vicinity of al Shayyah area. The shelling lasted intermittently from 07:00 until 13:00.
The report notes 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, they violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
Furthermore, the repot stresses that the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, Syrian regime 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 amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
In addition, the report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps as Resolution 2139 has been adopted and no pledges to cease the indiscriminate bombardment operations have been made. All the parties to the conflict must respect the Resolutions and adhere to the rules of the international humanitarian law.
Also, the report emphasizes that the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism that was established in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 248/71 that was adopted on December 21, 2016 must be supported, local tribunals that enjoy a universal jurisdiction should be established, and the war crimes that have been committed in Syria must be prosecuted.
The report says that the Syrian case must be referred to the International Criminal Court, those who were involved must be held accountable, and the norm of the Responsibility to Protect have to be implemented in order to save the Syrian lives, culture, and art from being destroyed, stolen, and ruined. Lastly, the sanctions must be expanded to include the pillars of the Syrian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.