MESOP BACKGROUNDER : THE INVASOR – Iran’s Qasim Sulaimani in Aleppo Commanding Operations – Russia, Syria, and Iran are directly responsible for protecting the lives of civilians, UN says

  Basnews English – 17/12/2016 – 15:41   |  Middle East – ALEPPO — The Commander of the Iranian Quds Brigade, Qasim Sulaimani, is in Aleppo, Syria where he is commanding the Iranian troops deployed in the city to back the Syrian regime in fighting the opposition forces.

The Iranian Farda News confirmed on Friday the presence of Sulaimani in Aleppo and his participation in battle alongside the Russian ground forces in the city . The outlet also released his picture inside Aleppo.Some news sources previously reported that a senior Iranian military commander named Said Jawad was commanding the operations in Aleppo which targeted civilians in the city. Later, it was confirmed that the Iranian commander was in fact Qasim Sulaimani.

UN humanitarian advisor Jan Egeland also said that all the governments, including Russia, Syria, and Iran, who are engaged in the operations in Aleppo, are directly responsible for protecting the lives of the civilians. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, led by Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad of Jordan, said it received “credible reports” that forces loyal to the government were “gunning down civilians” and killing residents in their homes in four different neighborhoods in Aleppo city.

Amnesty International, commenting on the UN reports, described the killings as war crimes and stated that “Amnesty International has previously highlighted the Syrian government’s widespread and systematic use of enforced disappearance to attack the civilian population in what has amounted to crimes against humanity. It is crucial that independent monitors are deployed to prevent further enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment”. The deputy director of research for Amnesty International in Beirut also said “the reports that civilians, including children, are being massacred in cold blood in their homes by the Syrian government forces are deeply shocking but not unexpected given their conduct to date. Such extrajudicial executions would amount to war crimes.”