Report on War Crimes Says Syrian Neighborhoods Were Destroyed
Human Rights Watch recently released a report on the criminal destruction of neighborhoods by the Syrian government in the cities of Hama and Damascus. A thorough examination of the course of events and the misleading government news coverage has led the group to conclude that the demolitions were done intentionally by the Syrian military as part of the conflict with opposition forces, meaning the destruction constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law, aka the “laws of war.”
The independent human rights organization found that “seven cases of large-scale demolitions documented in this report violated the laws of war either because they served no necessary military purpose and appeared intended to punish the civilian population, or because they caused disproportionate harm to civilians.”
The government and government-supported news outlets alleged that the destruction was done in order to remove homes that were illegally built or to combat terrorist activity there. The neighborhood of Wadi al-Jouz, spanning 10 hectares according to the report, was destroyed last year between April 30 and May 15. Satellite photos, provided in the report and shown below, reveal what witnesses told HRW was a result of heavy bulldozing and excavating of homes.