Berlin – March 20, 2019: The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) participated in a panel discussion entitled ‘Germany’s Involvement in the Anti-IS Coalition: The Air Strike on al-Badhiya IDP-Shelter in Syria’. The event, which was held at the headquarters of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in the German capital Berlin, was organized by ‘Airwars’ and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), with the participation of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and Human Rights Watch (HRW). Speakers at the event included James Rodehaver of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria; Maike Awater, advocacy officer and conflict researcher for Airwars; Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights; Nadim Houry, director of Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program at Human Rights Watch; Robert Frau, University of Potsdam/European University Viadrina, and Andreas Schüller, Director of the International Crimes and Accountability Program at ECCHR. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Delina Goxho, consultant with the Lethal Drones Shared Framework at Open Society Foundations and PAX Netherlands. The event was also attended by a number of researchers, media professionals and other interested individuals.
In his address during the event, Fadel Abdul Ghany spoke about the role played by SNHR, not only in documenting incidents that result in a large number of victims, but also in trying to record and follow up all incidents that include violations of the rules of international law, explaining that this work has enabled it to build up an extensive database, which has helped in visualizing how the dynamics of attacks evolved over time and with the passage of years.
Mr. Abdul Ghany noted that according to the database, US-led Coalition forces have killed 3,035 civilians to date in Syria, and confirmed that, rather than the coalition learning from previous errors to avoid further mistakes and limit damage, the numbers of violations have actually escalated over the years. He also provided an analysis of the documented attacks by International Coalition forces, based on two variables: the toll of victims and the targeting of vital facilities, clarifying that International Coalition forces have committed at least 172 massacres and carried out 181 attacks on vital facilities since their initial intervention, which indicates that violations have become a widespread and repeated pattern that reveals a disregard for civilian life to a large extent. Abdul Ghany also conducted a comparison between the most notable violations by International Coalition forces in Syria during the terms of US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, noting that the attacks by International Coalition forces began to assume a more chaotic and random character since the second year of intervention, explaining that the third year (September 2016 to September 2017) was the worst ever.