SNHR said today that no less than 4,759 civilians were killed in the first half of 2018 by the parties to the conflict in Syria, including 593 civilians who were killed in June.
The report notes that SNHR has largely focused, since it was founded, on documenting victims who were killed at the hands of the parties to the conflict, and created a database for the victims’ names and their information such as sex, age, occupation, way of killing, the party that killed them, and the type of weapon used.
The report also sheds light on the various and different patterns of crimes and ways of killing that have been documented since the popular uprising for freedom started in March 2011, ranging from gunfire, air attacks, and death due to torture inside detention centers, to chemical and cluster attacks, landmines, as well as victims who died of hypothermia, starvation, or due to medication shortage, or drowning as they were fleeing.
The report includes the civilian death toll by the seven parties to the conflict in Syria. The report stresses that military victims weren’t included in light of the difficulties found in this type of documentation.
The report draws upon ongoing monitoring of news and developments, and on a wide network of relations with tens of various sources, in addition to analyzing a large number of pictures and videos.
The report stresses that many incidents that resulted in casualties might not constitute a violation of the international humanitarian law but involved collateral damages. Therefore, they are recorded and achieved in order to preserve historical accuracy without considering them as having qualified as crimes.
According to the report, June saw a rise in civilian death toll compared to May in light of the vicious offensive in Daraa governorate, a de-escalation zone, by Syrian-Russian alliance forces who topped all parties in terms of killing civilians in the month of June by killing 393 civilians, including 221 killed in Daraa governorate.
The report adds that the trend of civilian deaths in bombings whose perpetrators weren’t identified continued for a third month in a row in June, as well as assassinations. Most of these incidents were in Idlib governorate.
The report records that 4,759 civilians, including 1,104 and 798 women (adult female), were killed in the first half of 2018 at the hands of the parties to the conflict in Syria. Of those, 3,056, including 616 children and 507 women, were killed by Syrian regime forces, while Russian forces killed 398, including 138 children and 79 women. The report also records that 182 civilians, including 43 children and 15 women, were killed at the hands of ISIS, and 23 civilians, including five children, were killed by Hay’at Tahrir al Sham.
Additionally, the report documents that 30 civilians were killed at the hands of factions from the armed opposition, including 11 children and four women, while Self-Management forces killed 112 civilians, including 11 children and 18 women. The report also records that international coalition forces killed 254 civilians, including 113 children and 68 women, while 704 civilians were killed by other parties.
In June, the report records, 593 civilians were killed. Of those, 342 civilians were killed by Syrian regime forces, including 74 children (on an average of three children per day), 60 women (adult female), and 84 due to torture. Also, 51 civilians, including 10 children and nine women were killed by forces believed to be Russian.
On the other hand, the report notes that 19 civilians, including five children, were killed by ISIS while the report records that six civilians, four children and two due to torture, were killed at the hands of factions from the armed opposition. Self-Management forces, on the other hand, were responsible for the killing of 16 civilians, including two children and three due to torture.
Further, the report documents that 61 civilians, including 29 children and 11 women, were killed in air attacks by international coalition forces warplanes, while 98 civilians, including 17 children and seven women, were killed by other parties.
The report stresses that Syrian-Russian alliance forces violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. 90% of the wide and individual attacks, the report adds, were directed against civilians and civilian objects, which discredits the Syrian government’s and the Russian regime’s claims that they are fighting “Al Qaeda and terrorists”.
The report also notes that all other parties have committed crimes of extrajudicial killing which constitutes a war crime.
The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps resolution 2139 has been adopted. Also, the report stresses that the Syrian case should be referred to the International Criminal Court and all those who were involved should be held accountable, including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes has been proven.
In addition, the report calls for the implementation of the “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” norm, especially after all political channels have been consumed through all agreements, as well as Cessation of Hostilities statements and Astana agreements. The report stresses that action should be taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and the “Responsibility to Protect” norm, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly, should be implemented.
The report calls on the European Union and the United States of America to support the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism that was established in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 71/248, adopted on December 21, 2016. And establish local tribunals that enjoy a universal jurisdiction, and address the war crimes that were perpetrated in Syria.
Also, the report calls on the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to launch investigations on the incidents included in this report and past reports. The report stresses that SNHR is willing to cooperate and provide more evidences and data.
Additionally, the report calls on the Russian regime to launch investigations in the incidents included in the report, make the findings of these investigation public to the Syrian people, and hold all those who were involved accountable. Also, compensate all victims’ families, who were killed by the current Russian regime, as well as all the wounded.
Moreover, the report calls on the international coalition forces to unequivocally and truly acknowledge that some of the bombardment operations have resulted in the killing of innocent civilians, demanding that the international coalition launch serious investigations, and immediately compensate and apologize to the victims and those who were affected.
Further, the report calls on the SDF-supporting states to apply pressure on these forces in order to compel them to cease all of their violations in all the areas and towns that are under their control. And cease all forms of support, including weapons.
Lastly, the report calls on armed opposition factions to ensure the protection of civilians in all of their areas of control. Also, armed opposition factions should distinguish between civilians and military targets, and cease any indiscriminate attacks.