Thursday, February 28, 2013

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PRESS RELEASE: Syria: Unlawful Missile Attacks Kill More Than 140

Recent Escalation of Tactic Threatens Civilians
February 26, 2013
(Kilis) – The Syrian government launched at least four ballistic missiles that struck populated areas in the city of Aleppo and a town in Aleppo governorate during the week of February 17, 2013. The attacks killed more than 141 people, including 71 children, and caused immense physical destruction.

The extent of the damage from a single strike, the lack of aircraft in the area at the time, and reports of ballistic missiles being launched from a military base near Damascus overwhelmingly suggest that government forces struck these areas with ballistic missiles. Human Rights Watch visited the four attack sites, all in residential neighborhoods. Human Rights Watch found no signs of any military targets in the vicinity of any of the four sites, which would mean that the attacks were unlawful.

“I have visited many attack sites in Syria, but have never seen such destruction,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch, who visited the sites. “Just when you think things can’t get any worse, the Syrian government finds ways to escalate its killing tactics.”

Human Rights Watch compiled a list of those killed from cemetery burial records, interviews with relatives and neighbors, and information from the Aleppo media center and the Violations Documentation Center, a network of local activists.

Around midnight on February 18 a missile struck the Jabal Badro neighborhood in Aleppo, killing at least 47 people, including 23 children. According to local residents, government forces started shelling the attack site about 20 minutes after the missile struck, wounding several people. Just before 6 p.m. on February 22, a missile struck the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood in the eastern part of Aleppo, killing at least 13 people, including eight children. Just minutes later, a missile struck the Ard al-Hamra neighborhood close by, killing at least 78 people, including 38 children......

FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE: Syria: Unlawful Missile Attacks Kill More Than 140 | Human Rights Watch

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