The Assad regime was found responsible for killing US journalist Marie Colvin in 2012, a US court has ruled. Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Dima Moussa described the ruling as “very important.” She called for punishing all crimes committed by the Assad regime against civilians in Syria using all available means, including law courts in which lawsuits can be brought against the Assad regime to hold its symbols accountable for the crimes it committed against the Syrian people.
The US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Assad regime was liable to pay $302m in damages to Colvin’s family who filed a lawsuit against the regime for its responsibility for her death when regime forces shelled a media center in the neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs in February 2012.
US District Court Judge Jackson ruled that the Assad regime was guilty of the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen by planning and carrying out an attack on a media center in the neighborhood of Baba Amr.
Prosecutors have proven through sufficient evidence that the Assad regime bears responsibility for Colvin’s death. A claim against the Assad regime was lodged with a Washington court by her sister Cathleen and her three children.
Moussa stressed that the Assad regime bears primary responsibility for the murder of Colvin along with hundreds of journalists and hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians. She pointed to the need to activate the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) which established in 2016 to support efforts to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Syria.
Moussa also underscored the need to establish a competent tribunal court to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria, especially in light of Russia’s blocking of efforts on the Security UN Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.
Moreover, Moussa stressed that doing justice in Syria is key to finding a just, lasting political solution in the country in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
Colvin was killed in sustained artillery barrages by the Assad regime on the apartment building housing the media center in Bab Amr along with French photographer Remi Ochlik. British photographer Paul Conroy, who was working with Colvin, was injured along with Syrian media activists before Assad forces stormed the area.
Observers said that the Assad regime received a new heavy blow after the US House of Representatives passed of the Caesar Act and after the European Union impose new economic sanctions on Syrian businessmen and entities directly linked to the Assad regime, including a close associate of the head of the regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
At least 29 children and newborns have died over the past two months in or on their way to the Al-Hol IDP camp in Al-Hasakah province, the World Health Organization said, as the camp struggles to deal with cold winter conditions and an influx of displaced people.
Most of the children died of hypothermia, according to a report from WHO, released Thursday.
About 23,000 people have arrived at the camp in Al-Hasakeh province in just eight weeks, WHO said. Most of the new residents are Syrian women and children fleeing fighting between the PYD militia and the remnants of the ISIS extremist group.
Elizabeth Hoff, WHO's representative in Syria, described the situation inside the camp as “critical.” She added: “Children are dying from hypothermia as their families flee to safety.”
Many of the new arrivals are suffering from malnutrition and exhaustion after years of living under ISIS rule. Bureaucratic obstacles and security constraints have hampered humanitarian access to the camp, according to WHO.
Echoing the same concerns, the UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said that the “difficult journey, cold weather and long waiting periods at screening centers, where families wait sometimes for days, have reportedly contributed to the death of at least 29 children – including 11 infants in the past two days alone.”
“Persistent fighting in the area surrounding Hajin, in eastern Syria, has forced thousands of people to embark on a long and arduous journey to safety at Al-Hol camp for internally displaced people - almost 300km to the north,” Fore added.
“UNICEF appeals to all parties to facilitate safe, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all children in need.
WHO called for unhindered access to al-Hol camp, saying the situation was “extremely dire” for the 33,000 people living in cold weather without tents, blankets or heating equipment and who needed urgent life-saving assistance.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called on the United Nations to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid and to alleviate the suffering of people living in the camp. It stressed the need to provide urgent life-saving support and enable the IDP to cope with the severe weather conditions.
Located near the Syrian-Iraqi border, Al-Hol camp is home to thousands of Iraqi refugees and Syrian IDPs. It still receives people fleeing the fighting between the PYD militia and ISIS in rural Deir Ezzor. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)