Committed war crimes in areas of reduced escalation by the Syrian and Russian forces
Human Rights Guardians condemned the continued rocket and helicopter bombings, the emptying of explosive barrels on civilians and civilian objects during the military operations launched by the Syrian government forces and Russian one on opposition areas in the north of Syria, especially in the city of Idlib and its countryside where air strikes destroyed about 24 medical facilities, during this month according to the Syrian Human Rights Network and reports of several medical organizations.
Human Rights Guardians pointed out that the continuous military operations caused the death of 303 civilians, including 72 children and 63 women, killed by the Syrian and Russian regime aircraft, as well as the ground attack resulting deaths of 13 children and 14 women, in addition to the killing of 350 soldiers from the opposition forces and more than 320 soldiers of the Syrian regime forces, in addition to hundreds of injuries, during the past four weeks, besides the destruction of huge infrastructure because of the use of arbitrary explosive barrels, rockets,
the high destructive projectiles without any distinction between civilians or military ones. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Also Human Rights Guardians warned that the continued bombardment of explosive barrels, cluster bombs and internationally prohibited weapons on the reducing escalation areas foreshadows an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe of 3 million civilians in the city of Idlib and Aleppo and their two countryside villages, that resulted a massive wave of displacement of a quarter of a million Civilians approximately to leave their homes and flee to villages and towns near the Syrian-Turkish borders in the absence of the lowest elements of life: Housing, food and medical care, staying under trees, that whole families, women and children died in the direct shelling of their homes, away from the direct targeting of hospitals and medical center points in order to keep them out of their services and destroy the medical structure in those areas where humanitarian organizations and civil society organizations reported that Syrian government and its Russian ally had carried out at least 24 attacks on the health facilities. They also targeted ambulances, hospitals and clinics along the main evacuation routes from the north of Hama and south of Idlib towards the center of the city, i.e. they targeted the whole referral network.
The aim is to put to death the greatest possible number of civilian casualties and revenge on the opposition’s popular incubator, although the Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that civilian hospitals which take care of wounded, sick, elderly, women may not be attacked, that the conflict parts must protect and respect.
The targeting and destruction of civilian objects is prohibited under Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and the protection of civilian objects is an indispensable necessity for the preservation of the civilian population. Article 25 of the Hague Regulations on the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907 states the prohibition of” Bombing of towns, villages, dwellings and unprotected buildings, whatever means used “
Syrian and Russian government forces also burned the crops of the civilians of wheat in Idlib and Aleppo countryside with the intention of punishment and starvation and to make them leave their cities and villages after their destruction in whole or in part. In spite of the prohibition contained in Article 54 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, which states: “It is prohibited to attack, destroy, transfer or disable the objects and indispensable resources for the civilian population’s survival and its ideals: Foodstuffs, producing agricultural areas, crops, livestock, drinking water facilities, its networks, and irrigation works if they are intended to prevent the civilian population from them or the adversary owing to their vital value, whatever the motive, whether to starve civilians, displace them or for any other reason.
Human Rights Guardians pointed out that the targeted areas still being within the scope of the “reduction zones”, which were supposed to not witness military operations. Here, the signatory states in Astana, i.e.: Turkey, Iran and Russia must work on making binding decisions ensuring that the Syrian and Russian regimes cannot bombard civilians and civilian objects, establishing a clear mechanism to observe and monitor the reduction of escalation and to put all the three mentioned guarantying countries, all of them face to face in front of their main task, that is to control the reduction of escalation and assume their responsibilities, to spare 3 million civilians the signs of a humanitarian disaster that will be realized in the absence of an end to military operations.
said Suleiman Issa, Executive Director of Human Rights Guardians.
“The civilians and their objects targeting constitutes a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law, that reaches war crimes, and we must act urgently to stop them, which is a shame on all humanity, the responsibility of the international community as a whole is to stop these crimes and to put murders to the accountability
The suffering of the Syrian people is always going on and humanitarian support must be provided without political or military considerations, and the Organization of Human Guardians must call upon all United Nations organizations, actors and the European Union’s refugee institutions provide urgent humanitarian, service support and medical care for the sick, secure housing for thousands of civilians in the displacement areas and alleviate the suffering of the displaced one.
Antakia-Turkey at: 30-05-2019