News / Middle East

HRW: Syria Rebels Committed Crimes Against Humanity

FILE - Rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag.
FILE - Rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra waving their brigade flag.
VOA News
A prominent human rights group has accused Syrian rebels of committing crimes against humanity during a recent offensive on an area held by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Human Rights Watch claims armed Syrian opposition forces killed at least 190 civilians and took over 200 hostages, mostly women and children, during the August attack on Latakia province.

The New York-based group's report says at least 67 of the victims were executed or unlawfully killed during the attacks on 10 Alawite villages loyal to Assad. In some cases, the report said, entire families were gunned down.

The investigation found that 20 armed groups participated in the operation. It said five Islamist groups were the most involved, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. It is unknown whether or not the Western-backed Free Syrian Army participated.

Human Rights Watch's acting Middle East director, Joe Stork, said the abuses were not just the actions of rogue fighters, but a "coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population."

Rights groups have also documented repeated cases of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by President Assad's forces during the nearly three-year-long conflict, which has killed over 100,000 people.

In one of the deadliest such cases, hundreds were killed in August during a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. The Syrian government denied carrying out the attack, and instead blamed the incident on the rebels.

The United States threatened to carry out air strikes against Syrian forces in response to that attack, which it says killed 1,400 people, but those plans were put on hold after the Syrian government agreed to a U.N. plan to give up its chemical weapons stockpile.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: michael olakunle from: Nigeria
October 11, 2013 5:37 AM
why do people that profess to be mesengers of God perpetriate such crime if it is the true God they serve: instead in my own perspective; they serve their master the devil: Jesus says by their fruit thou shall know them:

In Response

by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain Planet-Africa
October 11, 2013 9:05 AM
These are the people the US and its Allies are supporting. Who is ruling the world, the wicked or the rightous? And what is the US, France and UN?


by: jeth from: philippines
October 11, 2013 4:54 AM
...even those who sent arms to syrian rebels should be condemned.

In Response

by: Anonymous
October 11, 2013 8:59 AM
Jeth, those who provided weapons to bashar al assad is an accomplice of genocide. Syrian Rebels are not all bad guys, there are rebels (FSA), and then there is foreign extremist groups. Many mix them all up or don't know the difference. The FSA is actually good, and consists of many Syrians, and many many many Syrian Army Defectors (Thats how they were created).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid