The Syrian Lawyers Commission sent a memorandum to the United Nations with regards to the war crimes the forces of the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran are committing in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. It stressed that these forces are involved in war crime against the environment, nature and the economy in the provinces of Hama and Idlib.
The Commission said that Russia, the Assad regime, and Iranian forces cut off thousands of fruit trees in the areas they have recaptured in rural Hama and Idlib province in recent weeks.
The memorandum indicated that the Assad regime and its allies committed a “war crime” by cutting off thousands of vital olive and pistachio trees after they captured the towns of Kafarzeita and Latamina. It called for immediate intervention forcing the Russian forces to respect international conventions and norms; forcing the regime forces to stopping the cutting off of fruitful trees; and holding perpetrators accountable.
The Commission said that regime forces, working in groups, went into cutting off the vital olive and pistachio trees, which are an important source of income for the people of rural Hama and Idlib. It warned that an estimated two million trees each one averaging 75-years-old are at the risk of being removed.
The memorandum pointed out that the pro-regime militants looted the equipment of around 880 artesian aquifers in the region, which constitutes a crime against nature and a war crime under the Rome Statute and the Geneva Convention.
The Commission went on to say that that Russia, in addition to being responsible for the mass killings and displacement of civilians, allowed the Assad regime’s militias to commit a new crime added to the endless litany of crimes risking the creation of a humanitarian, economic and natural disaster. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)