Including 26% Killed at the hands of International Coalition Forces
SNHR said today that no less than 167 civilians were killed in October by the parties to the conflict in Syria.
The report notes that SNHR has largely focused, since it was founded, on documenting victims who were killed at the hands of the parties to the conflict, and created a database for the victims’ names and their information such as sex, age, occupation, way of killing, the party that killed them, and the type of weapon used.
The report also sheds light on the various and different patterns of crimes and ways of killing that have been documented since the popular uprising for freedom started in March 2011, ranging from gunfire, air attacks, and death due to torture inside detention centers, to chemical and cluster attacks, landmines, as well as victims who died of hypothermia, starvation, or due to medication shortage, or drowning as they were fleeing.
The report includes the civilian death toll by the seven parties to the conflict in Syria. The report stresses that military victims weren’t included in light of the difficulties found in this type of documentation.
The report draws upon ongoing monitoring of news and developments, and on a wide network of relations with tens of various sources, in addition to analyzing a large number of pictures and videos.
The report stresses that many incidents that resulted in casualties might not constitute a violation of the international humanitarian law but involved collateral damages. Therefore, they are recorded and achieved in order to preserve historical accuracy without considering them as having qualified as crimes.
According to the report, October saw the lowest death toll since the start of 2018, as the scope of military operations by most of the parties to conflict in Syria further diminished in October across Syria.
The report adds that October saw an escalation by international coalition forces in the ISIS-held areas of Deir Ez-Zour governorate, which resulted in the killing of 43 civilians, 38 percent of whom were children. Meanwhile, Syrian regime forces were responsible, in the same period of time, for the killing of 42 civilians in the areas that broke away from their control, 29 percent of whom were children. In addition, October was the seventh consecutive month in which an increase was documented in the number of civilians killed in bombings and different shootings.
Additionally, October saw a rise in civilian deaths resulting from worsening medical conditions. Most of these cases were in al Rakban Camp in eastern Homs governorate in light of the siege imposed on the area and the deteriorating situation in the camp with the arrival of winter.
The report records that 6,395 civilians have been killed since the start of 2018, including 4,556 killed by Syrian-Russian alliance forces.
In October, the report adds, 167 civilians were killed. Of those, 42 civilians were killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces, including 12 children, six women (adult female), and 14 due to torture.
On the other hand, the report says that 19 civilians were killed at the hands of extremist Islamic groups, including three children and two women. Of those 19 civilians, ISIS was responsible for killing 15 civilians, including one child and two women, while Hay’at Tahrir al Sham was responsible for killing four civilians, including two children. The report records that two civilians, including one child, were killed by factions from the armed opposition, while the report counts 12 civilians who were killed at the hands of Self-Management forces, including three children, one woman, and two due to torture.
Lastly, the report records that 43 civilians were killed in airstrikes by international coalition forces, including 16 children and four women, whereas 49 civilians, including 13 children, were killed by other parties.
The report stresses that Syrian-Russian alliance forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. 90% of the individual and group attacks, the report adds, were directed against civilians and civilian objects, which discredits the Syrian government’s and the Russian regime’s claims that they are fighting “Al Qaeda and terrorists”.
The report also notes that all other parties have committed crimes of extrajudicial killing which constitutes a war crime.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps resolution 2139 has been adopted. Also, the report stresses that the Syrian case should be referred to the International Criminal Court and all those who were involved should be held accountable, including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes has been proven.
In addition, the report calls for the implementation of the “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” norm, especially after all political channels have been consumed through all agreements, as well as Cessation of Hostilities statements and Astana agreements. The report stresses that action should be taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and the “Responsibility to Protect” norm, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly, should be implemented.
The report calls on the European Union and the United States of America to support the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism that was established in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 71/248, adopted on December 21, 2016. And establish local tribunals that enjoy a universal jurisdiction, and address the war crimes that were perpetrated in Syria.
Also, the report calls on the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to launch investigations on the incidents included in this report and past reports. The report stresses that SNHR is willing to cooperate and provide more evidences and data.
The report calls on the Syrian regime to Stop treating the Syrian state as a private family property, cease the terrorization of the Syrian people through killing using all means (bombing, siege, torture, displacement…), shoulder the legal and material repercussions, and compensate victims and their families from the Syrian state’s resources.
Additionally, the report calls on the Russian regime to launch investigations in the incidents included in the report, make the findings of these investigation public to the Syrian people, and hold all those who were involved accountable. Also, compensate all victims’ families, who were killed by the current Russian regime, as well as all the wounded.
Moreover, the report calls on the international coalition forces to unequivocally and truly acknowledge that some of the bombardment operations have resulted in the killing of innocent civilians, demanding that the international coalition launch serious investigations, and immediately compensate and apologize to the victims and those who were affected.
Further, the report calls on the SDF-supporting states to apply pressure on these forces in order to compel them to cease all of their violations in all the areas and towns that are under their control. And cease all forms of support, including weapons.
Lastly, the report calls on armed opposition factions to ensure the protection of civilians in all of their areas of control. Also, armed opposition factions should distinguish between civilians and military targets, and cease any indiscriminate attacks.