A UN-established commission said in a report that Bashar al-Assad’s regime had used chlorine weapons to retake the city of Aleppo last year and that the air campaign by the regime and Russia on the city, which deliberately targeted hospitals and humanitarian convoys, amounts to war crimes.
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria based its report issued on Wednesday on 291 interviews with Aleppo residents, satellite images and other photography, and videos and medical reports to document the daily air strikes of the regime and Russia against the opposition-controlled eastern districts in Aleppo. According to the report, these air strikes continued for months and destroyed infrastructure, producing disastrous results for civilians.
A commision's statement summarizing the report said that the "brutal tactics" used by the participating sides to resolve the battle in Aleppo in favor of the regime between July and December 2016 "resulted in unparalleled suffering for Syrian men, women and children and amount to war crimes."
It said that the regime forces and allied militias used tactics to impose a siege reminiscent of the Middle Ages, preventing "the civilian population of eastern Aleppo city from accessing food and basic supplies while relentless air strikes pounded the city for months, deliberately targeting hospitals and clinics, killing and maiming civilians, and reducing eastern Aleppo to rubble."
According to the report, after the regime forces were effectively able to take control of the eastern districts of Aleppo at the end of November, no hospitals or medical point was working normally.
The report also said that armed groups had bombarded the western districts of Aleppo (under Assad regime control) arbitrarily and with primitive weapons, causing civilian casualties, and launched a number of attacks without any clear military aim, and had no goal but to terrorize civilian residents.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.