The video itself is far too grisly for us to post here without warning, as it appears to contain a horrifying instance of cannibalism by a commander within the Syrian opposition, the removal and eating of a dead opponent’s heart, while espousing sectarian insults towards Bashar al-Assad. Said Nadim Houry, the Middle East deputy director for Human Rights Watch: “It is not enough for Syria’s opposition to condemn such behavior or blame it on violence by the government,” Houry said. “The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop such abuses.”
20:20 // 6 months ago
U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
"Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.
A total of three possible chemical attacks have been reported thus far, and several U.S. officials apparently still maintain varying levels of certainty that the Assad regime is responsible for at least one attack. That said, it will be interesting to see how the Obama Administration reacts should incontrovertible proof emerge, particularly given previous declarations that such attacks from the Syrian government would cross a “red line.”
12:33 // 7 months ago
Syrian leaders should be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face justice for murder and torture, UN investigators urged on Monday as the EU renewed its blanket arms embargo on both sides in Syria's bloody conflict.
Britain, however, secured the agreement of its partners to make it easier to supply “non-lethal” equipment and training to maintain security in rebel-held areas, which was not previously possible. But it had not sought agreement to send weapons, Whitehall officials insisted, rejecting claims from Brussels that it had.
Unfortunately, efforts to bring justice to the Syrian leadership loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are unlikely to go anywhere, because they requires the full support of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members. Considering Russia and China’s previous reluctance to support Western intervention in Syria, it’s unlikely that either will suddenly be supportive of charging the Assad regime with war crimes.
15:07 // 9 months ago
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the British-based opposition watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that four people in Aleppo had told him of the incident which happened on either Friday or Saturday.
"The soldiers were from the Aleppo district of Sekenat Hanano but they were killed in the district of Sabaa Baharat," he said by telephone.
The videos showed rebel fighters holding assault rifles standing around the dead men, calling them “(President Bashar al-) Assad’s Dogs.”
"The Suleiman al-Farisi brigade … killed several members from the (state) security," a man said off camera, filming a car with the name of the brigade written on the bonnet.
This isn’t the first time that war crimes have been reported, by either side of the Syrian conflict, though its never welcome news when new stories break. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the total number of casualties in Syria has now topped 27,300, 19,500 of whom were civilians, during the 17-month-old uprising.
15:52 // 1 year ago