Times of Oman
Price in RO
24ct / gm
22ct / gm
Forex Rates vs R01
Back to Homepage
Demolitions in two Syrian cities target civilians: rights group
January 30, 2014 , 1 : 19 pm GST
SAVE THIS ARTICLE
Photo Courtesy - Digital Globe and CNES
Syrian authorities have flattened seven residential districts for no apparent military objective but to punish civilians living among rebels who had already fled, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
The New York-based advocacy group published before-and-after satellite images of the destruction, along with witness testimony, in a report released on its website.
It says Syria deliberately and unlawfully demolished thousands of residential buildings in the year from July 2012, estimating the total built-up area destroyed at 145 hectares (360 acres), the equivalent of 200 soccer fields, and said many of the buildings were apartment blocks up to eight storeys high.
It names the districts as Masha'a al-Arbaeen and Wadi al-Jouz in the central city of Hama, and Qaboun, al-Tadamon, Barzeh, Harran al-Awamid and Mezze airport in and around the capital, Damascus.
Reuters could not immediately reach Syrian authorities for comment on the allegations. Human Rights Watch cites Syrian officials and pro-government media as saying the demolitions were conducted to remove buildings constructed without the necessary permits or as part of urban planning efforts.
But it said "the context and circumstances" of the destruction showed it was actually intended to punish civilians living in areas that had previously housed rebel fighters.
It said the demolitions often occurred after government forces had cleared an area of rebels and in some cases extended several kilometres away from military or strategic locations which the authorities might be justified in protecting.
It said the destruction violated internationally recognised laws of war forbidding combatants from targeting civilians, and said Syrian authorities should be held accountable.
"No one should be fooled by the government's claim that it is undertaking urban planning in the middle of a bloody conflict," said Ole Solvang, a Human Rights Watch researcher.
"This was collective punishment of communities suspected of supporting the rebellion."
Rate this Article
Rates : 0, Average : 0
Post a Comment
Did you like this section? Leave a comment!
Your Name :
Your Email Address :
Your Comment :
Enter ImageText here:
No Comments Posted
Latest in this section
Sri Lanka warns developing nations over UN censure
Malaysia Airlines has one of Asia’s best safety records
China says to work with Afghanistan to fight terrorism
China to ‘defend every inch’ of territory: foreign minister Wang Yi
Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in South China Sea with 239 people aboard - report
TOP RATED ARTICLES
Pakistan Navy Ship sets sail for Oman
50,000 Iranian tourists to visit Oman in 2014
Women climb up Petroleum Development Oman ladder, take positions once held only by men
Indian police drop sedition charge against cricket fans
Astronomers spot rare asteroid break-up
More in News
Urban gardens greening Berlin rooftops, airfield
Italian violinist strikes a chord with street children
Tips for writing a good article
How to choose your writing form and communicate your creative thoughts
Natasja Engholm - Special to Times of Oman
Indonesia's illegal dentists bite back after ban
More in Features
Turkey should avoid being in Shanghai Five
The ever-shifting borders in the Middle East
Armed neo-Nazis have taken over Ukraine
Paul Craig Roberts
France is in sight of the violence in CAR
The weather and British phlegmatism
More in Columns
Get Top news by E-mail.
Copyright © 2014 Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC. All rights reserved. Times of Oman is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
For reprint rights contact:
TOO Online Editorial