Human Rights Watch on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child highlighting violations against children in Syria, including most notably summary executions of children by Assad’s forces.
The rights watchdog group said that it had documented the killings of at least 47 people, mainly women and children, by Assad regime forces in the Adwiyya, Karm al-Zaytoun and Refa`i neighborhoods of Homs on March 11-12, 2012.
HRW said it also investigated nine ballistic missile attacks by Assad regime forces in 2013 that killed at least 215 people, including 100 children.
“On May 2, 2013, Syrian government forces and allied militias summarily executed 167 civilians, including 14 children, in the town of al-Bayda near the coastal city of Baniyas, after clashes with anti-government forces earlier in the day.”
“From July 2012 to April 2013 Human Rights Watch documented and visited the sites of 59 deliberate or indiscriminate airstrikes by government warplanes that killed 152 civilians, including children.” the rights group added.
“A Russian-Syrian aerial bombing campaign of areas in Aleppo controlled by anti-government groups from September 19 to October 18, 2016 often appeared to be recklessly indiscriminate and killed 446 civilians, including 91 children.”
HRW also said it had investigated three airstrikes conducted between September 20 and 25 that killed at least 72 people, including at least 9 children, in populated residential areas, markets and camps for the displaced.
“Syrian government forces has repeatedly used chemical weapons in attacks that killed and maimed children and other civilians. On the morning of August 21, 2013, two attacks on the Damascus suburbs of Eastern and Western Ghouta controlled by anti-government groups using nerve agents and weapons that were only in the possession of Syrian government forces killed hundreds of civilians, including large numbers of children.”
HRW also said it had found that “all evidence strongly suggests that on April 4, 2017, a Syrian government warplane attacked Khan Sheikhoun, a town in the northwestern governorate of Idlib, with a nerve agent, killing at least 90 people, 30 of them children.”
HRW put forward a set of recommendations including calling on the Committee on the Rights of the Child to encourage the cessation of attacks targeting civilian infrastructure that do not constitute military objectives under international humanitarian law.
HRW also called for the cessation of “all use of chemical weapons, incendiary weapons, cluster munitions, and the indiscriminate use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.”
The rights group also called for the cessation of “attacks targeting medical facilities, allow medical evacuations, and facilitate unimpeded and sufficient humanitarian aid into besieged areas, and ensure that children have access to appropriate food, particularly formula milk. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)