In late January 2013, during the Syrian Civil War, the bodies of approximately 110 men and boys, most with hands bound behind the back, mouths sealed with tape, and gunshot wounds to the head, were found on the edges of the river in a part of Aleppo controlled by opposition forces. Very few of the victims were over 30. Many victims showed signs of torture.
‘This video shows in shocking close-up detail what civilians in Daraya have had to live through’ – Magdalena Mughrabi
The shocking reality of the Syrian government’s barrel bombing of the besieged city of Daraya, near Damascus, is shown in brutal detail in a new video released by Amnesty International today amid the latest round of peace talks in Geneva.
The video, shot by civilians in Daraya between 2014 and late February this year, includes unseen footage not previously made public. It shows scenes of Syrian government forces’ barrel bombs falling and exploding inside the city, interspersed with civilians – including children and the elderly – describing the sheer terror of living under such relentless attacks in a city under siege.
In one harrowing scene, an injured young boy lies alongside the corpse of his brother who was killed in a barrel bomb attack, weeping and begging: “My brother, please don’t leave me.” In another scene, a bespectacled young girl with curly hair says when asked about the bombs: “They want to kill me”.
Daraya has endured thousands of barrel bombs on top of more than three years of crippling siege by Syrian government forces. According to data collected by the Local Council of Daraya City, around 6,800 barrel bombs have been dropped there between January 2014 until the “cessation of hostilities” agreement on 26 February 2016.
The resulting damage and destruction is evident from countless videos and other images. At least 42 civilians, including 17 children, have been killed by these imprecise explosive weapons. According to local activists, a further 1,200 civilians have been injured. Local activists believe that the death toll would almost certainly be higher except for the fact that residents have become so used to rushing to shelters whenever helicopters are spotted.
Although no barrel bombs have been dropped on Daraya since the partial “cessation of hostilities” came into effect on 26 February, there have been attacks with other weaponry and thousands of civilians who remain in the city continue to suffer from severe food and medical shortages and no electricity. Most of Daraya’s original residents fled the devastation years ago and now only between 4,000 and 8,000 remain, a fraction of its original population.
Amnesty International interim Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Magdalena Mughrabi said:
“This video shows in shocking close-up detail what civilians in Daraya have had to live through.
“It is absolutely outrageous – though not surprising – that the Syrian government has continued to bombard and starve its own civilians. And it is unacceptable that the UN and other influential international players are not doing more to address the critical situation in Daraya and other besieged locations.
“Every day that goes by without aid delivery means that the humanitarian crisis in Daraya worsens.”
Humanitarian crisis amid siege of Daraya
In addition to widespread and large-scale destruction caused by the thousands of barrel bombs dropped on Daraya, government forces have cut off the city and not allowed in any humanitarian aid at all since November 2012.
Medical workers are severely under-resourced to cope with the scale of the humanitarian crisis they face. The besieged city’s only remaining field hospital has been targeted 15 times by government forces. Daraya’s Medical Office sent Amnesty lists of more than 100 medicines, supplies and equipment it urgently needs. Among the items they lack are: antibiotics, painkillers and anaesthetics; disinfectants and other cleaning supplies; and equipment including dialysis machines, CT scanners and hospital beds and cots.
Amnesty is insisting that the Syrian government allows urgently-needed aid into Daraya, in compliance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and binding UN Security Council resolutions. The International Syria Support Group and UN agencies, especially the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, must ensure this is made to happen for Daraya and all other besieged locations.
Crude but deadly weapons
Barrel bombs are crude but deadly weapons fashioned out of oil barrels, fuel tanks or gas cylinders, which are packed with explosives, fuel and metal fragments and dropped from helicopters and planes. They are by definition imprecise and must never be used in the vicinity of civilians. Amnesty hopes the harrowing eyewitness footage from Daraya will spur the international community to re-double its demands on the Syrian government to grant immediate lifesaving humanitarian access to Daraya and all areas still under siege.
#360Syria “virtual tour” website
Last month Amnesty launched a #360Syria “virtual tour” website showing the devastation wrought by Syrian government barrel bombing of the besieged city of Aleppo. The site (www.360Syria.com) comprises specially-created 360-degree photography, narration, sound recordings, 3-D data graphics and videos gathered by Amnesty-trained Syrian media activists. The innovative site is designed to take the viewer into Aleppo’s rubble-strewn streets for an “immersive” virtual reality-like experience. Visitors can navigate around full-screen “photospheres” which capture the apocalyptic scenes and sounds after barrel bombing attacks. The images also feature the brave rescue efforts of unarmed civilian volunteers – the “White Helmets” – from the Syrian Civil Defence teams.
Syria’s Torture Machine
Published on Jan 21, 2015
ch4 Syria Torture bashar assad Mukhabarat secret service
Published on Mar 14, 2016
March 2011, in the south of Syria, four coffins for four Syrians protesting peacefully against their government – the first to die in a conflict that has taken as many 400,000 lives.
The Syrian American Council, the largest and oldest grassroots Syrian-American organization in the United States, hailed the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives tonight to approve H. Con Res. 121 which condemned the Assad regime’s war crimes in Syria and called for President Obama to direct his Ambassador to the United Nations to promote the establishment of a War Crimes Tribunal for Syria. The resolution passed on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Syrian revolution which began on March 15th 2011.
SAC thanks Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for sponsoring this resolution, as well as Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) for co-sponsoring. The resolution passed resoundingly with a vote of 392 to 3. SAC urges the Senate to follow suit and move quickly to pass the measure.
The text of the resolution can be found here, and a summary can be found here. SAC would like to thank the Syrian American community and other fellow Americans for their mobilization in support of the measure.
SAC expresses its extreme disappointment with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for their shameful vote against holding the Assad regime accountable for war crimes that have created the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Although these three representatives have consistently voted against American support of the Syrian revolution, today’s vote represents a new low.
Syrian American Council
Published on Jan 6, 2016
The video is a dispatch report by ANA Press crew from Aleppo, it consists of a documented trip from central Aleppo to the northern outskirts to where Syrian rebel groups are stationed in opposition to ISIS.
This video is hereby translated under full responsibility of ANA PRESS
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9 year old Ahmad lost his grandparents, siblings, uncle, and both his arms due to bombing by Assad in Syria.
Click here to donate:
Ahmad, a young Syrian refugee, has no arms. Let us show him how much we care about his medical treatment today and future tomorrow!
Organized & coordinated by Nuday Syria and the Malcolm X Community Servants Corps
Imagine being seven years old and watching your world literally crumble to pieces right before your eyes. Imagine yourself in this situation, and ask yourself what you would do in that situation? What kind of person would you become after going through such a tragedy and what would your attitude be following the destruction of your life as you knew it?
These are big questions and we met a boy with the answers.
Ahmad, now nine years old, is a survivor of the worst tragedy you can imagine. However, from the moment he walked into our lives, he has brought nothing but smiles and laughter, and we are in pure awe of his cheerful and exuberant demeanour. Especially considering his story.
Young Ahmad lost three of his seven beloved siblings as well as his cousin and uncle – all in one instant as a bomb struck his tent in the refugee camp he was staying at inside Syria. In addition to losing five of his family members, Ahmad almost lost his life. He survived – but got both arms amputated.
Ahmad is full of life, light and faith, as you can see from his beautiful face, despite experiences that would rob some of us of our Din (Faith).
You see, Ahmad lost both of his arms, along with his three siblings when their house was bombed. However, he did not lose his humanity. What did he do upon landing at Logan Airport in Boston with his father? He went directly from the airport to the masjid, prayed twenty rakats with the Imam, and asked if they could pray more until Fajr [morning]!
Pray for him and his father and allow yourself to be inspired by his courage, faith and goodness. May Allah bless us to do more to end the madness that has befallen far too many of our lands.
-Imam Zaid Shakir
We want to raise funds to help Ahmad with his immediate medical expenses as well as for long-term care as he grows and needs new prosthetics and other services. We also want to ensure Ahmad has a bright future ahead of him so we also want to set up an education fund for him. This kid deserves a chance!
In the few short months Ahmad has been with us in our community here in the Boston area, he has completely captured the hearts of us all. Ahmad has done more for us than we could ever do for him in return. The way he handles his situation with such grace and strength is more than any of us could ever do. The way his smile brightens our day – every day – is priceless and a lesson for us all for life.
We hope to be able to repay him for all the lessons he has taught us, and continues to do, by providing him with the tools necessary so he can continue to share his story of how – even in the worst of times – a smile makes the difference so he can benefit his generation and other communities in the future.
“Ahmad is an exemplary child always caring, always wanting others to win. I remember once in Ramadan, he and another child were sparring in the masjid and he won. We all cheered for him. He immediately said without hesitation, “But we both won! We’ve been changed.”
-Hafiz Na’eel, ICNE Sharon assistant imam
The Ahmad Project was started by youth at ICNE Sharon who run the Malcolm X Community Servants Corps (MCSC). MCSC has teamed up with NuDay Syria is working closely with Ahmad and his father. Nuday the only authorized organization that can collect on behalf of this child. In the case of the fundraiser exceeding the minimum amount of $125,000 and after all medical and living expenses have been paid, an educational fund will be set up for Ahmad and each of his siblings. Any funds raised beyond these needs will go towards other Syrian refugee children with extreme medical needs.
Learn more about Ahmad and support him here: https://www.razoo.com/story/The-Ahmad…
How this little boy and his dad helped Paris “finally let go of their tears”
Published on Nov 18, 2015
How do you explain the Paris terror attacks to a child? This father found the most beautiful way!
The dad has been praised for how he responded to his young son’s comments – and it’s even allowing some French people to ‘let go of their tears’
Since Friday, France and the rest of the world have been trying to make sense of devastating terror attacks that rocked Paris , leaving 129 people dead.
We have seen footage of people laying flowers at the site of the massacres, or silently weeping during yesterday’s two-minute silence.
But one heartwarming video circulating on social media shows the ‘humanity in the face of inhumanity’ we have come to recognize in response to the devastation – and is even helping French people come to terms with their grief.
In an interview with Le Petit Journal in front of floral tributes left for the dead, a young boy is asked if he understands what has happened.
He responds: “Yes, because they are very, very, very bad. Baddies are not very nice. We need to be really careful because we will have to move home.”