Thursday, August 30, 2012
Civilian Deaths at Bakeries Are War Crimes
Human Rights Watch
August 30, 2012
"New York) – Syrian government forces have dropped bombs and fired artillery at or near at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo province over the past three weeks, killing and maiming scores of civilians who were waiting for bread.
The attacks are at least recklessly indiscriminate and the pattern and number of attacks suggest that government forces have been targeting civilians, Human Rights Watch said. Both reckless indiscriminate attacks and deliberately targeting civilians are war crimes.
One attack in the city of Aleppo on August 16, 2012, killed up to 60 people and wounded more than 70. Another attack in the city on August 21 killed at least 23 people and wounded 30.
“Day after day, Aleppo residents line up to get bread for their families, and instead get shrapnel piercing their bodies from government bombs and shells,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch who has just returned from Aleppo. “Ten bakery attacks is not random – they show no care for civilians and strongly indicate an attempt to target them.”
Human Rights Watch researchers visited six of the attacked bakeries and interviewed witnesses:
•Bakery in Maare, northern Aleppo, August 22;
•Bakery in Al-Bab, northeastern Aleppo, August 21 and 22;
•Aqyuol bakery in Bab al-Hadid, Aleppo city, August 21;
•Al-Zarra bakery in Qadi Askar, Aleppo city, August 16;
•Kanjou bakery, al-Maysar, Aleppo city, August 16;
•Bakery in al-Halwaniya, Aleppo city, August 16;
Human Rights Watch collected credible information about four other attacks....."