Human Rights Watch condemns Syrian fighter jet bombing that killed over 40 civilians
Posted: 12:3a.m. IST, August 16, 2012
Azaz (Syria), Aug.16 (ANI): New York-based Human Rights Watch has condemned the bombing of a residential block by a Syrian air-force fighter jet that killed at least 40 people and injured over a hundred.
The incident took place in the town of Azaz on Wednesday.
Human Rights Watch, which investigated the damaged residential block two hours after the aerial bomb attack, said at least two bombs destroyed an entire block of houses in the al-Hara al-Kablie neighborhood of Azaz, in Syria's northern Aleppo province.
Human Rights Watch said on Thursday that it had interviewed witnesses, victims, medical personnel, and relatives of those killed.
This horrific attack killed and wounded scores of civilians and destroyed a whole residential block, said Anna Neistat, acting emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.
Neistat added: Yet again, Syrian government forces attacked with callous disregard for civilian life.
So far, 25 bodies have been recovered from the rubble, but a man helping to bury the bodies, said that by midnight, 33 people had been buried in Azaz.
The laws of war prohibit attacks that strike military targets and civilians indiscriminately. Attacks are also prohibited that may be expected to cause incidental civilian loss that would be disproportionate to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the attack, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
The statement further said that the laws of war do not prohibit fighting in urban areas, although the presence of many civilians places greater obligations on all warring parties to take steps to minimize harm to civilians. All forces need to take constant care during military operations to spare the civilian population, and take all feasible precautions to avoid loss of civilian life and property. These precautions include doing everything feasible to verify that the objects of attack are military targets and not civilians or civilian objects, and giving effective advance warning of attacks when circumstances permit.
Human Rights Watch called on United Nations Security Council members to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government and targeted sanctions on government officials responsible for abuses, and refer the Syrian conflict to the International Criminal Court. (ANI)