Thursday, January 30, 2014

Syria: Thousands of Houses Unlawfully Razed | Human Rights Watch

 Mezzeh area, Damascus

Extensive demolition of dozens of high-rise residential and commercial buildings along the main road between Mezzeh Air Base and the neighborhood of Daraya.

Before: Mezzeh area, Damascus
After: Mezzeh area, Damascus

Satellite imagery, witness statements, and video and photographic evidence show that Syrian authorities deliberately and unlawfully demolished thousands of residential buildings in Damascus and Hama in 2012 and 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 38-page report, “Razed to the Ground: Syria’s Unlawful Neighborhood Demolitions in 2012-2013,” documents seven cases of large-scale demolitions with explosives and bulldozers that violated the laws of war. The demolitions either served no necessary military purpose and appeared to intentionally punish the civilian population or caused disproportionate harm to civilians, Human Rights Watch found. 

“Wiping entire neighborhoods off the map is not a legitimate tactic of war,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These unlawful demolitions are the latest additions to a long list of crimes committed by the Syrian government.” ................

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Syria: Thousands of Houses Unlawfully Razed | Human Rights Watch

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