The Assad regime forces and the Hezbollah militia have launched a fresh assault on the town of Madaya in Rural Damascus, pounding the besieged town with hundreds of barrel bombs, mortar shells, and rockets, a rights group said on Sunday.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the bombardment on Madaya has put the last remaining medical facility in the town out of service.
In a report released on Sunday, the rights group said that the ongoing assault on Madaya left at least 8 people killed, including 3 children and 2 rescue workers since it began on September 4th. Nearly 58 people, including two rescue workers, have been injured; 36 of whom are in a critical condition. The bombardment also caused massive damage to residential buildings and civilian infrastructure, the report added.
On December 5th, regime helicopters dropped two barrel bombs near the last remaining medical center in Madaya, which had been providing medical services for at least 40,000 people in the town. The Network added that after rescue workers and ambulance teams had arrived at the scene of the attack, regime helicopters returned and dropped two more barrel bombs on the area. The bombing put the medical center out of service and caused massive damage to the surrounding buildings.
The report cited eyewitness accounts of a number of residents in the town as well as survivors of the attack. It contained images showing the massive damage in the building of the medical center and the equipment inside.
The report emphasized that the targeted areas did not have any military use before or at the time of the attack.
The SNHR stressed that the attack on the medical center by the Assad regime and the Hezbollah militias represents a blatant and clear violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 calling for stopping indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets. The attack also violates Article VIII of the Rome Statute, and constitutes a war crime.
The Assad regime forces and the Hezbollah militias have also violated the international humanitarian law by attacking unarmed civilians.
The report by the SNHR put forward a set of recommendations including calling on the UN Security Council to take additional measures pursuant to the UNSC Resolution 2139 as no commitments have so far been made to stop indiscriminate bombardment on civilian targets.
The report also called for the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court to hold accountable all those involved in these attacks, including the Russian regime after it has been proven responsible of committing war crimes in Syria. Moreover, the report called for immediate, concrete action to restore peace and security in Syria as well as using the principle of the Responsibility to Protect in Syria to protect civilians and make sure their cultural and historical heritage is saved. It also called for the expansion of sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regimes as they are directly complicit in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)