Syria: Civilians facing 'horrific' violence

2012-08-23 10:02
A Syrian boy carries carrying a bag of bread on his head while walking back to his home, in the city of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo. (Muhammed Muheisen, AP)

A Syrian boy carries carrying a bag of bread on his head while walking back to his home, in the city of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo. (Muhammed Muheisen, AP)

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

Beirut - Syrian civilians are facing "horrific" violence as the battle for the commercial capital Aleppo rages, Amnesty International said on Thursday, lashing out primarily at regime troops for launching indiscriminate attacks.

"The use of imprecise weapons, such as unguided bombs, artillery shells and mortars by government forces has dramatically increased the danger for civilians," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International Senior Crisis Response Adviser, who recently returned from Aleppo, said in a statement.

Amnesty said it investigated around 30 attacks during a recent visit to Aleppo by its team in which "scores of civilians not involved in hostilities, many of them children, were killed or injured" in their homes, while queuing for bread or in places where they had taken shelter.

It said that attacks often failed to distinguish between opposition fighters and civilian residents and appeared to be randomly directed at neighbourhoods which are under the de-facto control of opposition fighters, rather than at specific military objectives.

"Civilians face a daily barrage of air and artillery strikes by government forces in different parts of the city. For many there is simply nowhere safe and families live in fear of the next attack," said Rovera.

Some of the victims died in the very places where they had sought shelter, having been forced to flee their homes by the fighting, the statement said.

Executions

Amnesty said civilians were killed and injured while queuing for bread and cited an example of a 13-year-old girl, Kifa Samra and her 11-year-old brother Zakarya who were killed along with their neighbour, a mother of 11, on 12 August while queuing for bread near their home.

"Those responsible for indiscriminate attacks against civilians and other war crimes should expect that they will be held to account," said Rovera.

The overwhelming majority of victims were killed in air strikes and artillery attacks by government forces, while in some cases the source of the attack could not be established, the statement said.

Amnesty also said that a further deeply disturbing development was the sharp increase in extrajudicial and summary executions of civilians not involved in the conflict by government forces.

"Bodies of mostly young men, usually handcuffed and shot in the head, have been frequently found dumped near the headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence which is completely controlled by government forces," Amnesty said.

It also raised concerns about increased abuses, including unlawful killings and ill-treatment of captives by opposition fighters belonging to a plethora of armed opposition group, including the Free Syrian Army operating in the city.

"It is shameful that the international community remains divided over Syria, disregarding the body of evidence of the scale and the gravity of the human rights abuses in Syria and effectively looking the other way while civilians are bearing the brunt," it added.

More than 23 000 people have been killed since the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, according to Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
57 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.