21 Amongst which were committed by Russian Forces
SNHR issued its periodic report concerning the documentation of massacres by all conflict parties in Syria, which presented the statistic for massacres in February 2016. The report described an incident as a massacre if it involves the killing of five unarmed people at least. SNHR documented no less than 40 massacres in February 2016, detailed as follows: government forces committed 13 massacres, Russian forces committed 21 massacres, ISIL committed 2 massacres, armed opposition groups committed 3 massacres, and unidentified groups committed 1 massacre.
According to the report government forces committed 5 massacres in Damascus suburbs, 4 massacres in Idlib, 2 massacres in Daraa, and one massacre in each of Aleppo and Homs. The Russian forces committed 15 massacres in Aleppo, 2 massacres in each of Homs and Al Hasaka, and 1 massacre in each of Idlib and Al Raqqa. ISIL committed one massacre in each of Damascus suburbs and Homs. The armed opposition groups committed 3 massacres in Aleppo. As the report recorded a massacre by unidentified groups.
The report indicated that those massacres killed 452 individuals including 123 children and 105 women. 51% of targeted victims were women and children which is a strong indicator that civilians were targeted deliberately.
The report detailed the massacres committed in February as follows: government forces killed 95 individuals including 30 children and 23 women, Russian forces killed 210 individuals including 63 children and 37 women, ISIL killed 125 civilians including 20 children and 42 women, armed opposition groups killed 15 civilians including 9 children and a woman, and unidentified groups killed 7 individuals including a child and two women.
The report affirmed that the bombing, whether it was deliberate or indiscriminate, targeted armless civilians, thus, government forces and its militias have violated the articles of the international law for human rights which guarantee the right to live. Furthermore those violations were perpetrated during a non-international armed conflict which can be classified as war crimes.
The report indicated that those attacks, especially aerial bombing, have caused immeasurable humanitarian and material losses. There are strong indicators that prove that the damage was deeply severe compared to the expected military advantage. In all of the cases, SNHR didn’t find any military targets before or during these attacks.
The report mentioned that the magnitude of that wide systematic frequent shelling, the level of its excessive strength, its military nature, and the coordinated approach of those attacks must be based on high orders, and a state policy,
The report recommended The United Nations and the Security Council to transfer the Syrian issue to the International Criminal Court and stop the disrupting of the decisions that must be adopted by the Security Council against the Syrian government. That disruption is a wrong message to all dictatorships around the world and an enhancement to the culture of crime and to pose urgent punishment on those who are involved in the violations of human rights. It also demanded to bind the Syrian government to allow all relief and human rights organizations to enter Syria, in addition to the International Investigation Committee and allowing them to work freely.
The report indicated that its necessity to List the militias that are fighting with the Syrian government and have committed massacres, like Hezbollah and the other Shiite brigades, National defense Army and Shabiah militia, on the international list of terrorist organizations.
Finally it demanded the implementing the principle of “protecting civilians” adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, in Syria now, as the situation there is direly requiring the implementation of such a principle.