The Syrian Air Force is carrying out both deliberate air strikes against civilians and indiscriminate attacks, a leading rights group has warned. Human Rights Watch says it visited 52 sites in north-western Syria, documenting 59 such unlawful attacks. It points out that both types of attacks – estimated to have killed thousands – are serious violations of international law. It says the Syrian government’s unlawful actions are behind many of the 70,000 deaths estimated to have resulted from the conflict.
In its report – Death from the Skies – HRW says that since late July 2012 regular air strikes by Syrian Air Force fighter jets and helicopters have been launched on “cities, towns and neighbourhoods under the control of opposition forces”. HRW visited opposition-controlled sites in Aleppo, Idlib and Latakia governorates in the country’s north west between last August and December, and spoke to witnesses and victims of attacks, along with four Syrian Air Force defectors. It also saw some attacks at first hand. Nonetheless, it found evidence that government forces had launched strikes and artillery attacks on bakeries and civilians waiting to buy bread, and on hospitals, with strong evidence those facilities had been deliberately targeted. In other cases, Syrian forces had used means such as unguided bombs, incendiary bombs (which start fires and can cause casualties over large areas), and large high-explosive munitions whose effects were rendered indiscriminate by the nature of their use. The report also documents fresh evidence of the use of cluster weapons, internationally banned due to their indiscriminate nature.
This just goes to show how far the Syrian government is willing to go to not lose power. Their weapons are responsible for killing many of the 70,000 citizens since the fighting first started. The forces are calling rebels “terrorists” and “jihadists” (which isn’t really a word), as if they themselves aren’t committing terrorist acts by killing innocent civilians indiscriminately, whether they are shopping for bread or going to the hospital. The forces are mercilessly killing anyone left and right, fighter or bystander and need to stop.
To read the full article on BBC, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22098794
Posted on: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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