Today, as the world marked International Human Rights Day, Syrian regime and Russian aerial forces escalated their indiscriminate attacks across Syria, causing civilian deaths, including the killing of six children in Reef Dimashq. Ahead of International Human Rights Day, the Syrian National Coalition's Representative to the UN, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, issued an impassioned letter to the Security Council appealing for civilian protection and called on the international community to take concrete action to stop the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian areas and uphold Syrians’ human rights:
“No one should be forced to live in fear and in want, and without freedom of speech and the right to worship as they choose. But in Syria, that is the tragic reality. Every day, millions of Syrians live in the fear that their houses will be bombed, their communities decimated, and their loved ones killed by indiscriminate aerial bombardment, which remains the number one killer in Syria. The situation has only deteriorated since the start of Russian airstrikes on 30 September.
“Russia’s attacks in Syria are indiscriminate, and may amount to war crimes. In the two months since Russian air attacks first started across Syria, more than 400 civilians have been killed, of which 69 were children and 97 women. Of the armed forces killed by Russian attacks since 30 September 2015, just a small fraction were ISIS terrorists. The vast majority—97 percent in November alone—have been civilians. Today alone the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported three civilian casualties as a result of Russia strikes in the Aleppo countryside.
“Russia’s intervention in Syria violates international law. It also strengthens the position of terrorist extremists. In the two months since Russian forces first began indiscriminately bombarding Syria, ISIS has launched horrific terrorist attacks abroad and it has taken new territory inside Syria, making inroads in areas where Russian forces have targeted moderate opposition forces. If the scourge of terror is to be eradicated and the human rights of Syrians respected, then it is vital that Russia and the Syrian regime stop their indiscriminate killing, and the international community take concrete steps to provide the protection that Syrians desperately need.”