Department of Media and Communications
January 29, 2019
On this day, January 29, 2013, the people of Aleppo found out the details of the Queiq River massacre which was perpetrated by the Assad regime forces against civilians and detainees. The victims were shot and dumped in the river Queiq which carried them to the liberated parts of the city.
The civil defense volunteers and activists removed 90 bodies from the river on the first day. As the search for more victims continued downstream, a total of 220 bodies of civilians, including women, were fished out of the river, according to the documentation committees. Forensic reports indicated that all the victims were found with their hands tied behind their backs and wearing civilian clothes. The victims included five women who had been raped, tortured and killed. Many bodies bore sings of torture.
The Queiq River massacre in Aleppo is one of the most horrible massacres that have been targeting the Syrian people’s revolution since 2011. As a stark example of the Assad regime’s brutality, the massacre gave a glimpse of the atrocities being committed against civilians and detainees in the custody of the Assad regime.
The details of this massacre should serve as a reminder to all governments of the world as well as international and human rights organizations to assume their responsibilities towards the Syrian people. The massacre once again highlighted the need for urgent international intervention to put an end to the Assad regime’s massacres, crimes and violations. Action needs to be taken urgently to put an end to executions and torture in the prisons of the Assad regime; ensure the release of tens of thousands of detainees; disclose the fate of the missing persons; and hold accountable those who are involved in these crimes.
Anyone who refuses to support investigations aimed at serving justice makes himself in a reprehensible position and an accomplice in covering up these crimes. Supporting justice and standing on the side of what is right as well as punishing the criminals is not an option among a range of options; but the only and compulsory way in which the international community must move. Any further delay will open the door to a world in which massacres are practiced and laws are violated with impunity. No one will be spared the consequences of these violations.
On the painful anniversary of this appalling crime, the Syrian Coalition calls for referring the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers, their militias and all terrorist organizations with their various ideologies to the International Criminal Court. This is one of the responsibilities of the international body and other parts of the international community.