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Douma massacre (2015)

2015 Douma massacre
Part of Syrian Civil War
Location Douma, Syria
Coordinates 33°34′20.15″N 36°24′06.52″E / 33.5722639°N 36.4018111°E / 33.5722639; 36.4018111
Date 16 August 2015 (2015-08-16)
Target Civilians[1][2][3]
Attack type
Airstrike
Weapons Missiles, Barrel bombs[4]
Deaths 96+[2]
Non-fatal injuries
200+[2][3][4]
Perpetrator Syrian Air Force[2][3]

On August 16, 2015, the Syrian Air Force[5] launched strikes on the rebel-held city of Douma, northeast of Damascus, killing at least 96 people and injuring at least 200 others.[2][6][7] The attack is one of the deadliest in the eight-year history of the Syrian Civil War.[3]

The bombing

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, four separate missiles were fired in the strikes, which struck the main market in the town during rush hour.[3] Initial airstrikes were reportedly followed shortly afterwards by surface-to-surface missiles which hit people who had rushed to the scene to help.[8]

The bodies of sixty of the massacre victims were buried in two mass graves on the night of August 16.[10]

Reactions

Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the air strikes as "an official massacre that was carried out deliberately."[3] A Syrian military source told Reuters that the country's air force had carried out strikes in Douma and Harasta that targeted the headquarters of the rebel group Jaysh al-Islam.[1]

The Turkey-based Syrian political opposition group, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said the attack aimed at inflicting as many civilian casualties as possible.[2]

Stephen O'Brien, the United Nations' most senior humanitarian official, said he was horrified by the attacks and reiterated that "attacks on civilians are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop."[11] Jeffrey Feltman, the UN political chief, told the U.N. Security Council that Sunday's attack "would be yet one more war crime for which those responsible must be held accountable."[12] United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura called the attacks "unacceptable", to which Syria responded by accusing him of "stray[ing] from neutrality".[13]

The massacre was also condemned by Britain, France, Germany and Qatar.[14]

Official Statements

  •  Qatar – The Qatari Ministry of Foreign affairs said in a statement "that the Assad regime's continuation to commit crimes against innocent civilians in flagrant defiance of human conscience and international law increases the complexity of the Syrian crisis, and puts significant obstacles to reaching a political solution to the crisis. It also impedes the international efforts to achieve political transition based on Geneva statement of June 30, 2012."[14]
  •  United Nations – Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a press release that the attacks "may amount to a war crime for which individuals can be held criminally responsible."[15]
  •  United States – The attacks were also condemned by the State Department of the United States, which issued a press release stating that the attacks "demonstrate the [Assad] regime’s disregard for human life."[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Hubbard, Ben (17 August 2015). "Government Airstrikes on Syrian Market Kill More Than 80". New York Times. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Death toll in Syria air strike nears 100: activists". Reuters. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f AP (16 August 2015). "An "official massacre" of civilians alleged in Syria". CBS News. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Massacre as Syrian Barrel Bombs Kill at Least 82 - Middle East - News - Arutz Sheva". Arutz Sheva. 
  5. ^ "Syrian air force hits crowded market near Damascus, kills and injures hundreds". ARA News. 
  6. ^ Cassandra Vinograd. "Syria's Civil War: Douma Airstrike Toll Nears 100". NBC News. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (16 August 2015). "Syrian government air strikes on market kill at least 82 people". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Syrian regime attacks on Douma 'may amount to a war crime': UN". Al Bawaba. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Martin Chulov. "UN condemns Syria market attack as witnesses tell of 'corpses everywhere'". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Syrian army bombards Douma as air raid toll rises: monitor". Reuters. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Chulov, Martin (17 August 2015). "UN condemns Syria market attack as witnesses tell of 'corpses everywhere'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Syria's attack on Douma a war crime, UN political chief says - StarTribune.com". Star Tribune. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  13. ^ AFP (18 August 2015). "Syria blasts UN envoy for criticism of Douma airstrikes". Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "International Condemnation of Douma Massacre". Syrian National Coalition Of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. 
  15. ^ "Press briefing notes on Libya, Syria and Yemen". Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Market Bombing in Douma, Syria". State Department. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.