Amnesty International just completed a mission in Syria, where we met with residents caught in the bitter battle for control of Aleppo – the country’s economic capital and largest city.
Amnesty Crisis Adviser Donatella Rovera shot alarming video footage of families who are living amidst the bombings, executions and other atrocities being committed by government forces and militias working alongside the Syrian military.
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Government forces are attacking densely populated urban areas where the opposition is believed to be based, conducting air and artillery strikes that have injured and killed many civilians. One man told Donatella that he returned from work to find his home flattened:
“When I went to work, I never thought that it was the last time I would see my family. I lost all that was dearest to me – my children, my wife, my brother, my cousins – everybody.”
The civilian deaths Donatella witnessed are clear violations of international humanitarian law.
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The findings of Donatella’s latest mission build on satellite images Amnesty International released last week showing the extent of likely artillery bombardment near Aleppo. The images, obtained by commercial satellites from July 23-August 1, show more than 600 craters – many near residential areas.
Donatella’s footage captures the faces of the families who took shelter from those bombings.
I know you can sense the urgency with which I write this message. We must keep our eyes on Syria and continue to call on the international community to stop the killing once and for all.
Advocacy Director, Middle East North Africa
Amnesty International USA