New Civilian Deaths Show Stronger Measures Needed
(New York) – Civilians are dying in Syria in new indiscriminate attacks despite the “cessation of hostilities” that began on February 26, 2016.
One of the deadliest was the government airstrike on the town of Deir al-Assafir on March 31, killing at least 31 civilians, including nine women and 12 children, local civil rights groups and rescue workers reported. Three witnesses told Human Rights Watch that there were no military targets nearby. On April 5, armed groups fired mortars, locally made rockets, and other artillery into Sheikh Maqsoud, an Aleppo neighborhood under the control of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, in likely indiscriminate attacks that killed at least 18 civilians including seven children and five women, and wounded 68, according to the local Sheikh Maqsoud council. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the death toll.
“A decrease in casualty numbers brought a much needed respite for Syrians, but many civilians are still dying in unlawful attacks,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director. “Key countries pushing for negotiations in Syria – notably the U.S. and Russia – need to press the warring parties in Syria to end unlawful attacks.”