Monday, 10 June 2019 22:34

Monitor Highlights Assad Regime & Russia Escalation Against Civilians in Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

A rights group confirmed that the Assad regime has further stepped up its military operations during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, killing around 19,000 people and destroying hundreds of mosques during the months of Ramadan over the past nine years. The group said violations during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr are twice grave as those committed in other months of the year.

These figures came in a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) which tracked the number of victims who were killed during the months of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr from 2011 to 2019.

The Network pointed out that at least 18,974 people were killed across Syria in the reporting period. The Assad regime was responsible for the death of 16,114 civilians, including 2,196 children and 1,967 women. The Russian forces killed 246 civilians, including 46 children and 51 women, the Network said.

The PYD militia was responsible for the death of at least 156 civilians, including 27 children and 16 women. Attacks by the anti-ISIS coalition forces killed 307 civilians, including 174 children, 49 women, the monitoring group said. It added that the ISIS extremist group killed 1,137 civilians, including 89 children and 102 women in the same period.

The report pointed out that the latest month of Ramadan has witnessed a major regime offensive in the de-​escalation zone in northern Syria, pointing to "marked increase in the frequency of bombings and the direct targeting of civilian areas by the Assad regime and Russian forces.

The Network said that these forces used highly destructive weapons, indiscriminate improvised explosive ordnance and internationally prohibited weapons, including chemical weapons which were used in an attack on the village of Al-Kubaina in the Lattakia countryside.

Attacks on civilians and the targeting of the places of worship during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr were "violations as twice grave as those committed in other months of the year," the report said, adding that “such attacks reflected contempt for religions and risked fueling sectarian tensions and societal divisions.”

The monitoring group stressed that the International Law prohibited the deliberate targeting of places of worship as constituting a "war crime," noting that the Assad regime had repeatedly launched such attacks using its air forces and the dropping of barrel bombs and missiles.

The report called on the UNESCO to shed more light on the destruction and damage caused to Islamic places of worship and to identify those responsible for these acts. It also called for the provision of special protection and the intervention of UN forces to protect civilians and places of worship in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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