Queuing for bread, kneeling at prayer: No civilian is safe in Syria’s bloody war

Published April 11th, 2013 - 15:53 GMT

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syria civilian attack bakery
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Image 1 of 8: Back in December, scores of people who had been without bread for days were killed when Syrian warplanes bombed a bakery in the western village of Halfaya. According to opposition activists, Local Coordination Committees of Syria, around 100 of those queuing for food were killed in the attack.

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Image 1 of 8: In January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned a “heinous” attack on Syria’s Aleppo University that reportedly killed at least 87 people, many of them students attending exams. Mr Ban warned that the deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. The Syrian government and opposition forces blamed each other for the twin blasts.

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Image 1 of 8: A rebel car bomb attack that struck a petrol station in the north Damascus neighborhood of Massaken Barzeh, mostly inhabited by members of Assad’s Alawite minority, reportedly killed at least 11 people in January. Two children were among the dead in the attack.

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Image 1 of 8: Mortar fire hit an outdoor cafe at Damascus University in March, killing 15 students. Observers said the attack came as forces increased the use of mortars in the city. The government blamed ‘terrorist’ rebels for the strike while anti-Assad activists accused the regime of staging the attack to turn civilians against the rebels.

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Image 1 of 8: A bomb attack on a mosque in March killed one of the few pro-government Sunni clerics, Mohammed al Buti. Both sides condemned the attack which authorities said killed 40 people. A video posted online last week, however, raises questions over the bombing, which shows the cleric alive after the blast. Moments later Al Buti is dead.

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Image 1 of 8: Bread is the food of life, and now death in the Syrian conflict. The staple that is central to the diets of people living in the Middle East became the focus of Assad's forces, who would knowingly target bakeries. In one of many cases in Aleppo, 10 people died as three shells hit the residents waiting in the ever-growing bread lines.

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Image 1 of 8: In November, Syrian fighters jets attacked a field hospital in Aleppo, in the northwest of the country. The Dar al Shifa hospital attack led to at least fifteen people being killed. The airstrike was the sixth recorded direct hit on the clinic that was once owned by a businessman close to the embattled President Assad.

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Image 1 of 8: Syria is home to half a million Palestinians following the establishment of Israel in 1948. One of the largest camps for those forced to leave is Yarmouk. In December, the Syrian jets attacked the camp after intense fighting between rebels and residents who support the government. The airstrikes were thought to result in 25 deaths.

A report released on Thursday documenting widespread deliberate and indiscriminate attacks by Bashar Al-Assad against Syrian civilians has revealed the shocking means to which the embattled President will go to cling on to power. 

The Human Rights Watch study found that since July 2012, 4,300 civilians have been killed by their own government, with many thousands more injured and entire towns reduced to rubble.

The government-led chaos has been exacerbated by some opposition groups, who have used heavy weaponry and bombs in attacking civilians areas.

Such warfare has rendered public gatherings dangerous, with civilian masses being targeted by those fighting. Throughout the conflict bakeries, mosques, petrol stations and hospitals have all become theatres of death. 

 


Are you surprised by the Human Rights Watch report? Will anyone ever be brought to justice for war crimes committed in Syria? Share your comments with us below!

 

 

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