SNHR Says Assad Regime Killed Hundreds of People in April, Including Victims of Chemical Attack on Douma

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) on Tuesday said that the Assad regime and its backers killed dozens of civilians across Syria in May. At a meeting that brought together seven European countries, the Network said that accountability for war crimes in Syria is essential to bring an end to “hopelessness and exhaustion that have afflicted the Syrian society.”

In a report documenting war crimes that took place in Syria during the month of April, the monitoring group said that it had recorded 223 civilian deaths at the hands of the Assad regime, Russia, and the Iranian-backed militias in April. It noted that a total of 408 civilians were killed in the reporting period.

The victims included around a hundred people who were killed in the April 7 chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma in the Damascus suburbs.

The latest figure has brought to 3,812 the total number of civilian deaths since the beginning of 2018, the Network added. It said that attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces accounted for around 78 percent of the total number of victims.

The Network said that the victims of attacks by the Assad regime and its allies included 43 children and 31 women. The report listed 11 people who were killed under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime, while 11 civilians, including two children and four women, were killed in suspected Russian aerial attacks.

According to the report, the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) were responsible of the death of 23 civilians, including two children and eight women. It noted that one person was killed under torture while in the PYD’s custody. Moreover, nearly 23 civilians, including a woman, were killed by the ISIS extremist group.

The Network said that the Assad regime and Russian forces violated the provisions of international human rights law that protects the right to life. It underscored that at least 90 percent of the military attacks were targeted against civilians, contrary to claims by the Assad regime and the Russia that they are fighting al-Qaeda.

The United Nations earlier condemned the aerial attacks by the Assad regime and Russian forces causing horrible massacres and knocking out several hospitals and medical centers in the areas outside the Assad regimes’ control.

The report called on the UN Security Council to take additional measures pursuant to the issuance of resolution 2139, emphasizing the need to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and hold all those involved in war crimes to account, including the Russian regime which has been proven responsible for war crimes in Syria.