Pictures show devastation in Aleppo

2013-08-07 22:18
The Great Mosque of Aleppo, Syria, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been relentlessly and indiscriminately bombed. (Digital Globe via Amnesty International, AP)

The Great Mosque of Aleppo, Syria, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been relentlessly and indiscriminately bombed. (Digital Globe via Amnesty International, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - The sharp outlines of houses are reduced to a blur of rubble in "before-and-after" satellite images of Aleppo published on Wednesday that show how civilians have borne the brunt of Syria's civil war.

Amnesty International, which posted the photographs of the northern city on its website, says they show a campaign of indiscriminate air bombardment by government forces, razing entire areas and killing civilians.

"As the intensity of aerial bombardments and other attacks has continued to increase, the number of displaced Syrians has also risen several times," said Amnesty, which compiled the pictures in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The pictures show the impact of ballistic missiles fired by government forces in February on three neighbourhoods in Aleppo.

Bird's-eye-view photos taken before the attack show densely built-up districts of apartment blocks. Images of the same view after the attack show an area of destruction several streets wide where dozens of buildings have collapsed.

The three strikes killed more than 160 residents and wounded hundreds, Amnesty said.

"Over the study period, the AAAS analysis identified a near constant pace of destruction to Aleppo's infrastructure, including residential, religious, commercial, and industrial facilities," Amnesty said.

The images also show widespread damage to Aleppo's old city, a Unesco world heritage site, including the destruction of the minaret of the Great Mosque and damage to the main Souq.

Both sides in the 28-month-old war have ignored international law by fighting in Aleppo's historic sites.

More than 100 000 people have died in Syria's civil war and millions have been displaced.


UN investigators say Assad's forces have carried out war crimes including unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks and pillaging in what appears to be a state-directed policy. They say rebels have also committed war crimes, including executions.

A year ago, Amnesty released satellite imagery of bomb craters in and around Aleppo and warned of the grave risk to civilians.

"The risk cited one year ago regarding the devastating consequences of turning what was Syria's most populous city into a battlefield has become reality," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's senior crisis response adviser, who investigates human rights violations in Syria.

The report says the bombardment was "severely lopsided" toward opposition-controlled neighbourhoods.

Amnesty quoted Sara al-Wawi, a resident of the al-Marje area of Aleppo, who lost 20 relatives in an air strike in March.

"There were only civilians here. Our quarter was full of life, children playing everywhere. Now we are all dead, even those of us who are alive are dead inside, we have all been buried under this rubble," Wawi was quoted as saying.

Amnesty criticised foreign governments for failing to refer war crimes in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The West and Gulf Arab states have supported the revolt while Russia and Iran back Assad, each side sending weapons and money.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    amnesty international  |  syria  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'
Ireland wary of the Pumas
France must get in All Blacks minds

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.