Most Notable Violations of Security Council Resolution 2401 in Three Days
BY: UN Photo-Manuel Elias
SNHR said in a report released today that 107 civilians, including 34 children, were killed in Syria in the first 72 hours that came after Security Council resolution 2401 was adopted.
The report notes that Security Council resolution 2041 comes at a time when the Security Council’s impact in the Syrian catastrophe had reached extreme degrees of passivity and impotence. Even though the Security Council has adopted 18 resolutions on Syria so far, these resolutions are mere words, including the ones that include warning phrases and threaten to take punitive measures in the event of non-compliance, such as resolution 2139 on the cease of barrel bomb use, as well as resolutions 2118, 2209, and 2235 that addressed the repeated use of chemical weapons and have been violated hundreds of times by the Syrian regime, as the Security Council is still standing idly by under Russia’s thumb.
The report adds that the heavy and indiscriminate bombardment have been resumed just a few hours after the resolution was adopted. In this, the Syrian regime and its allies send out a number of messages – most notably an insult to the rest of the members of the Security Council, permanent and non-permanent. The report also describes the five-hour truce that was announced by the Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu as “a personal and nonsensical interpretation of the Security Council resolution.”
Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of SNHR, says:
“In all of the past ceasefire and de-escalation initiatives, we would sense a form of ‘shame’ where rates of killing and bombardment would decrease for two or three days, before going back to their former levels. However, the case of the resolution 2401 is unprecedented. The Syrian regime and its allies didn’t wait for more than few hours before going back to the bombardment, killing, and raids.”
The report stresses that ten days have passed since the escalation of the offensive started, and the human situation in Eastern Ghouta is becoming a serious catastrophe in light of the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance forces’ usual policies with the start of each offensive in targeting hospitals and medical points and even ambulances and civil defense teams to deepen the suffering of the wounded and the sick who are suffering under an already-present shortage of medical supplies due to the siege. The report notes that there are no less than 1,350 wounded people in Eastern Ghouta today, including 670 people who need special medical care and 270 who are in need of artificial limbs as the amputation cases are increasing rapidly.
The report outlines the most notable violations by the parties to the conflict from when Security Council resolution 2401 was adopted on February 24, 2018, evening until the evening of February 27, 2018. These violations include killing, targeting vital civilian facilities, and the use of prohibited weapons.
The report documents that 107 civilians, including 34 children and 18 women (adult female), were killed at the hands of the parties to the conflict in Syria. Of those, Syrian regime forces killed 83 civilians, including 18 children and 13 women, while international coalition forces killed 16 civilians, including 10 children and four women. In addition, ISIS killed four children, whereas other parties killed two children and one woman. Also, the report records three massacre – two by Syrian regime forces and one by international coalition forces.
The report adds that Syrian regime forces carried out two attacks on vital civilian facilities, one on a mosque and the another was on a local market.
Moreover, the report documents that Syrian regime helicopters dropped 47 barrel bombs, including 43 in Damascus suburbs governorate while the remaining four were dropped on Hama governorate.
The report stresses that Syrian-Russian-Iranian forces have, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council resolution 2401, which states that hostilities should be ceased, as well as resolutions 2139 and 2254 that preceded, as both resolutions state that indiscriminate attacks must be ceased. Also, these forces have violated Articles 7 and 8 of Rome Statute through the crime of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps after resolution 2401 was adopted, which explicitly provides for the cease of hostilities and facilitating the passage of humanitarian aids into besieged areas. Also, the report calls on the Security Council to refer the case in Syria to the International Criminal Court and hold all those who were responsible for crimes accountable, including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes have been proven.
The report stresses that the norm ‘Responsibility to Protect (R2P)’, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly, should be implemented especially after all political channels were consumed, as well as the de-escalation agreements and statement and Astana agreement. Therefore, after all of this, action should be taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ norm should be implemented.
The report also urges the international community and relief groups to supply makeshift hospitals with the necessary medical equipment, especially prothesis in light of the rapid increase in amputation cases among the wounded in Syria. 2,400 various artificial limbs should be secured in all of the areas of Eastern Ghouta as soon as possible.
Furthermore, the report calls on the Russian regime to adhere to the truce it announced and apply pressure on the Syrian regime and its Iranian militias to allow the sick and the humanitarian cases to exit first. Also, the report calls on the Russian regime to ensure the safety of the civilians who want to exit without any arrests or enforced-disappearances.
Additionally, the report stresses that the Russian regime should stop supporting the Syrian regime at the Security Council and using veto to prevent the passing of any international resolution that punishes the Syrian regime.
Finally, the report says that pressure should be applied on the Syrian regime to allow an unconditional passage for humanitarian aids into Eastern Ghouta.