No fewer than 16,913 civilians were killed across Syrian in 2016, a rights group said. The victims included 827 civilians who were killed in December of 2016 alone. The Assad regime forces, their allied foreign militias and the Russian forces were responsible for the majority of the civilian deaths, according to the rights group.
In a report detailing civilian casualties across Syria in 2016, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that 8,736 civilians, including 1,984 children and 1,237 women, were killed at the hands of Assad regime in 2016. At least 447 people, including two children and seven women, were killed under torture in Assad’s prisons.
According to the rights group, 3,967 civilians, including 1,042 children and 684 women, were killed by Russian aerial bombardment.
The militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) were responsible for the death of 146 civilians , including 24 children and 23 women. The victims also include 6 people who died under torture in the PYD prisons.
Nearly 1,528 people, including 1,510 civilians, were killed at the hands of the ISIS extremist group. They included 258 children and 213 women and 8 people who died under torture in ISIS prisons.
The SNHR said that 18 people, including a woman, were killed by Fateh Alsham Front (formerly known as the Nusra Front). The number included 4 people who died under torture by Fateh Alsham Front.
At least 537 civilians, including 158 children and 98 women were killed by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition forces, the report added.
The SNHR pointed out that nearly 951 civilians, including 168 children and 96 women, were killed by armed groups whom the Network said it could not identify.
According to the report, regime forces were responsible for the death of 411 civilians, including 114 children and women in December of 2016. Around 19 more civilians were killed under torture in Assad’s prisons in the same month. Children and women accounted for 38% of the total civilian casualties, which represents a stark indication of the deliberate targeting of civilians by regime forces, the Network said.
The report also listed 34 civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, who the Network said drowned in the sea trying to reach Europe and killed in bombings that the Network said were untraceable.
The Network stressed that the Assad regime and Russian forces violated the provisions of international humanitarian law that protect the right to life. It noted that dozens of attacks by these forces constitute mass murder as evidence and eyewitness accounts confirmed that more than 90% of these attacks were directed against civilians.
The report called on the UN Security Council and international institutions to shoulder their responsibilities towards the ongoing war crimes in Syria by putting pressure on the Assad regime to stop the deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians. It stressed that the Russian forces, the Iranian-backed foreign militias, and the ISIS extremist group are all complicit in the killing of Syrians, adding that they bear full legal responsibility for their actions in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)