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78 civilians, including 14 children, killed in May: Syrian Network

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) announced in its monthly report released Wednesday that 78 civilians were killed in Syria in May 2022, including 14 children, 11 women, and eight individuals who died as a result of torture.

The 14-page report details the death toll of victims documented killed by the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria in May 2022, particularly focusing on those victims killed under torture, and victims amongst medical personnel, detailing the most notable incidents. The report also provides details of the most notable work carried out by SNHR concerning the issue of extrajudicial killing.
The report draws upon the ongoing daily monitoring of news and developments, and on SNHR’s extensive network of relations with various sources, in addition to the analysis of a large number of photographs and videos.

The report notes that May saw a decrease in the death toll compared to the previous month. The report documents the deaths of 78 civilians, including 14 children and 11 women, eight of whom were killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces. Meanwhile, the report documents the deaths of 60 civilians, including 13 children and 10 women, at the hands of other parties in May, which also saw the continuation of civilian casualties as a result of landmine explosions in different governorates and regions of Syria; the report documents the deaths of nine civilians, including six children and one woman, as a result of landmine explosions, bringing the death toll resulting from the explosion of landmines since the beginning of 2022, to 60 civilians, including 30 children and five women.

The report also documents the deaths of 35 civilians, including three children and two women, due to gunfire by parties which SNHR has not yet been able to identify; more than half of the victims were killed in Daraa governorate.

The report documents the deaths of 78 civilians, including 14 children and 11 women (adult female), killed at the hands of the parties to the conflict and the controlling forces in Syria in May 2022. This figure is broken down according to the perpetrators in each case, with eight of the civilian victims, including one woman, killed at the hands of Syrian regime forces, one child killed at the hands of Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, and two civilians killed at the hands of all Armed Opposition factions/Syrian National Army. In addition, SNHR also documented the deaths of seven civilians at the hands of gunmen believed to be affiliated with ISIS, while 60 civilians, including 13 children and 10 women, were killed at the hands of other parties.

As the report reveals, analysis of the data for this period shows that Daraa governorate saw the largest death toll compared to other Syrian governorates, accounting for approximately 27% of the total death toll documented in May, followed by Deir Ez-Zour governorate with approximately 17%, then Hama governorate with approximately 13%.

The report further reveals that the SNHR team documented the deaths of eight individuals, including one woman, due to torture in May 2022, all of whom died at the hands of Syrian regime forces.
The report also documents one massacre perpetrated by ISIS, with the term ‘massacre’ used to refer to any attack that caused the death of at least five peaceful individuals in the same incident.

As the report notes, the evidence collected by SNHR indicates that some of the attacks documented in the report were deliberately directed against civilians and civilian objects. These attacks along with indiscriminate bombardment have resulted in the destruction of facilities and buildings. The report notes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the war crime of attacking civilians has been committed in many cases.

The report calls on the UN Security Council to take additional steps following its adoption of Resolution 2254, and stresses the importance of referring the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court, adding that all those involved in perpetrating crimes against humanity and war crimes should be held accountable.
The report also requests that all relevant United Nations agencies make greater efforts to provide food, medical and humanitarian assistance in areas where fighting has ceased, and in internally displaced persons’ camps, and to follow up with those States that have pledged voluntary contributions.

The report calls for the implementation of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine (R2P) after all political channels have proved fruitless throughout all the agreements reached, the Cessation of Hostilities statements, and Astana agreements that followed, stressing the need to resort to Chapter VII, and to implement the norm of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly.

The report further recommends that the international community should work to launch projects to create maps revealing the locations of landmines and cluster munitions in all Syrian governorates. This would facilitate the process of clearing them and educating the population about their locations.

The report additionally calls on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) to launch investigations into the cases included in this report and previous reports and confirms the SNHR’s willingness to cooperate and provide further evidence and data, as well as calling them on to focus on the issue of landmines and cluster munitions within the next report.

The report also stresses that the Syrian regime must stop the indiscriminate shelling and targeting of residential areas, hospitals, schools, and markets, as well as ending its acts of torture that have caused the deaths of thousands of Syrian citizens in detention centers, and comply with UN Security Council resolutions and customary humanitarian law.

Lastly, the report calls on all the parties to the conflict to provide detailed maps of the locations where they have planted landmines, especially civilian sites or areas near residential communities, as well as making several additional recommendations.

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