Saturday, September 15, 2012
By Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's Senior Crisis Adviser
14 September 2012
".....With the attention of the international media mostly focused on fighting in Aleppo and the capital, hardly any news reaches the outside world about the horrors of daily life for the residents of Jabal al-Zawiya and elsewhere in the Idlib and north Hama regions.
Every day civilians are killed or injured in their homes, or in the street, as they run for cover.....
Towns and villages have been virtually emptied of their residents, many of whom are now camping out in the surrounding countryside or hiding in caves.
Some are crowding in with relatives in what they hope are safer areas. Others have fled across the border to Turkey – or are currently stuck at the border waiting to cross.....
The bombing and shelling is relentless. During the 11 days I’ve been in the area not a single day passed without shelling and I did not find a single town or village which had not been hit.
Victims are almost always civilians. Not surprisingly, as the unguided bombs dropped by aircraft, and artillery shells and mortars are notoriously imprecise. They target areas, not specific objects, and are meant for the battle field. They should never be used in residential areas.....
In an emergency room a 13-year-old boy screamed in pain; he had shrapnel injuries all over his body and was waiting his turn to be seen behind others with even worse injuries. Two of those patients died in the following two hours despite the doctors’ efforts to save them.
They were the victims of yet another indiscriminate attack. Some of the wounded and their relatives told me several missiles exploded in the nearby village of Ehsem, killing and injuring residents in their homes and in the street. Five were killed and at least ten were injured in the attack.
The same pattern is repeated in all the areas which have come under the effective control of opposition forces. Having been forced out of the area, government forces are now bombing from the air and shelling from afar, knowing that the victims of such indiscriminate attacks are almost always civilians."