Help stop the horror in Syria
“Why such attacks? There are no fighters here. Just ordinary residents. My sister and her husband had fled their home because of the fighting … They came here to be safe, but instead of safety they found death.”
-Surviving member of the Hindi Family
Two weeks ago, the Hindi family were woken in the night as a shell exploded in their home. Fragments sprayed across the courtyard, killing baby Sana' while she slept and injuring her two year-old brother Abdelsalam, who is now fighting for his life. The shell instantly killed their 85 year-old grandmother, their aunt and uncle, and seriously injured the children’s mother.
When our researcher Donatella Rovera visited the Hindis' home a few days later she found a fragment of the shell lodged in a mosquito net covering baby Sana’s cot. The bed in which toddler Abdelsalam had been sleeping was covered in blood.
“Why are we being bombed in our own homes? My baby daughter is gone, my boy and my wife may not survive, my mother was killed.”
There cannot be any consolation for the Hindi family’s grief. But we need to make sure that their devastation is heard, and continue documenting the atrocities in Aleppo and across Syria. It is clear that families are being killed as they sleep and civilians are bearing the brunt of this conflict. Which is why we’re doing all we can to gather strong, reliable evidence to bring perpetrators of these war crimes to justice.
Donatella's visit to Aleppo was made possible by your generous donations. Please, help us continue building an evidence base to hold war criminals to account
Breaking the laws of war
During her ten days in Aleppo, Donatella witnessed a barrage of air and artillery strikes by Syrian government forces in different parts of the city.
She investigated 30 attacks in which 80 civilians were killed. Almost all of the attacks were on residential neighbourhoods. None of the victims were directly involved in the conflict. Donatella’s report on her time in Aleppo [pdf, 148KB] is full of the names of children killed. These attacks amount to war crimes
Nowhere left to shelter
Schools, hospitals, homes – all places of safety, destroyed by air strikes. And, as the city struggles with a shortage of bread, families have been killed queuing outside bakeries.
Two siblings – aged 13 and 11 – were killed when they were struck in the head after a bomb exploded as they queued to buy bread.
16-year-old Dalia Hamdun and her 17-year-old brother fled their home to seek shelter in a school, thinking they would be safe. On the 5 August they were killed when an aircraft swooped down and fired several rockets.
While the vast majority of civilian deaths are at the hands of government forces, Donatella also found evidence of abuses by the armed opposition. The summary execution-style killing of 14 members of the Berri clan, a video of which was posted on youtube, is the most well-known. Unfortunately it is not the only example.
You can help stop this horror
This is the true horror of life in Aleppo. So far, the international community has failed to take effective action to stop the bloodshed in Syria. Without evidence that such atrocities are happening, it can continue to disregard the scale and gravity of human rights abuses in the country. Which is why we must keep researching and documenting: as we continue to show the brutal reality of life in Syria, it will become increasingly difficult for the world to ignore it.
We are calling on the UN Security Council to bring the situation before the International Criminal Court. When that time comes, the evidence that you are helping us to collect will be vital in bringing those responsible for war crimes to justice. Your donations have helped us get this far: please help us continue this crucial work.