The Assad regime’s campaign of sieges in many areas across Syria constitutes crimes against humanity, said Amnesty International in a comprehensive new report published on Monday.
The report, titled “we leave or we die”: Forced displacement under Syria’s ‘reconciliation’ agreements, indicate the Assad regime has increasingly relied on such deals as a strategy to force the opposition to surrender.
The human rights watchdog’s report examines four “reconciliation” deals between the Assad regime and the opposition leading to the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians after years-long sieges and indiscriminate bombardment.
“The government’s campaign of sieges, unlawful killings and forced displacement, which has uprooted thousands of civilians and forced them to live in dire conditions, constitutes crimes against humanity,” Amnesty said.
The report covers 10 Assad regime attacks on civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo city between July and December 2016. The organization’s analysis of satellite imagery have shown how the attacks were carried out far from the front lines and with no apparent military objectives close by, destroying hundreds of structures including residential buildings, a market and hospitals.
The report is based on interviews with 134 people conducted between April and September 2017, including displaced residents who lived through sieges and attacks, humanitarian workers and experts, journalists and UN officials.
Amnesty concluded its report by calling on the UN Security Council to adopt measures to enforce the humanitarian and human rights-related provisions of Resolutions 2139 and 2165 by imposing targeted sanctions against those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, by imposing an arms embargo on the Syrian government, and by referring the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)