MESOP CEASEFIRE WATCH : 44 Breaches in the Ceasefire on its Third Day: Government forces used Toxic Gases

Not Less than 79 Documented Breaches and the Death of 13 civilians since the Beginning of the Ceasefire Agreement

2 March 2016 – SNHR issued its third report about the ceasefire agreement that started on Saturday, February 27, as they recorded 44 breaches, 27 breaches by combat, 17 breaches by government forces arrests, the report recorded government forces committing 20 breaches by combats while suspected Russian forces committed 6 breaches, Kurd Self-management forces committed a breach, making the overall number of breaches committed 79 since the beginning of the truce in February 27.

The Report documented the death of 13 civilians including 3 children and 2 women, 12 on the hands of suspected Russian forces and one on the hands of Kurd Self-management forces.

The report questioned this ceasefire and its outcomes. As the Syrian regime has violated and breached several UNSC resolutions and it was not held accountable.

Fadel Abdul Ghani, head of SNHR, said:

“The international community, represented by the UNSC, knows exactly what it should do to end this circle of violence, however, it resorts to unproductive solutions. The report stated that Syrians need a political transition that would transform the ruling to a democratic one. After Geneva 1, it was clear that the bloodshed is not going to end and state administrations will be doomed to failure. ISIL and Iranian militias are filling the space the corrupted Syrian government left. Syrian people are with any agreement or resolution that would end the cycle of violence and massacres in Syria.”

Concerning the statement itself, the Syrian regime and its Russian accomplice can strike regions under the control of armed opposition in northern of Syria under the pretext of the presence Al Nusra front, even if it is extremely limited, without breaching the ceasefire.

SNHR team documented these breaches as it is the bare minimum of what they were able to document according to SNHR investigation methodology, by contacting two sources for each incident who doesn’t know each other, the report also shows every combat by the parties committed to the truce (Government forces, Russian forces, Democratic Kurdish Syria forces, and the armed opposition factions) in the armed opposition territory and in the shared territory (areas controlled by armed opposition factions and An Nussra Front) the report doesn’t show the military operations in ISIS territory. There is also no improvement worth mentioning regarding releasing the women and children detainees by any of the concerned parties, while some areas still under siege.

According to the report there were 4 breaches in each of Homs and Damascus suburbs, 5 in each of Idlib and Hama, 2 in Lattakia by government forces, while the suspected Russian forces committed 5 breaches in Hama and one breach in Aleppo, the report recorded one breach in Aleppo by Kurd Self-management forces.

While the government forces breaches by arrests spread to: 4 breaches in Damascus, 3 in each of Lattakia, Damascus suburbs, and Aleppo, and 2 in each of Homs and Hama.

The report asked the joint American and Russian committee to investigate these incidents, announce its results to the Syrian people and prevent it from happening again. It also demanded the international community to correlate the ceasefire with political efforts that would pave the way towards a transitional stage that would result in a democratic regime, which will end the suffering of the Syrian people.

The report also pointed out that the truces is threatened to fall apart at any moment if the breaches continue as it is without real deterrent, also the report note that as the United States is a main sponsor for the truce they should put more effort into convincing the Russian party to stop the violations and press his ally the Syrian Regime to stop it.