Israeli missiles hit near Damascus, injuring two soldiers, Syrian army says
The Syrian army said on Sunday that Israeli missiles launched from the occupied Golan Heights hit sites near Damascus that regional intelligences say targeted Iranian militias’ stronghold near Syria’s holiest Shi’ite Muslim shrine. Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the Golan Heights remained tense on Monday as nearby residents feared potential attacks from Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, FRANCE 24’s Rob Parsons said, reporting from Majdal Shams.
Syria says two soldiers hurt
The alleged Israeli airstrikes wounded two Syrian soldiers on Sunday, the Syrian defence ministry said in a statement carried by state media.
“At around 22:05 p.m. (1905 GMT), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the occupied Golan Heights, targeting several areas near the capital Damascus,” the SANA official news agency quoted the statement as saying.
The ministry said “two soldiers were wounded” and averred that Syrian anti-aircraft defences had intercepted several Israeli missiles, a claim that could not be independently verified.
SANA also reported that there were “material losses” following the alleged Israeli airstrike.
An AFP correspondent near Damascus reported hearing bombardments.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, alleged that Israeli aircraft struck Syrian “[Bashar Assad] regime anti-aircraft defences as well as positions of Hezbollah near Sayyida Zeinab” district south of the capital. The organization, run by a single person, has regularly been accused by Syrian war analysts of false and inaccurate reporting.
Eight civilians including a pregnant woman killed by the Syrian regime army in rebel-held northwest
A pregnant woman was among eight civilians killed on Sunday during a strike by Syrian regime forces in the last major rebel stronghold in the northwest, a war monitor said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said six other people were injured in the attacks.
“Regime forces committed a massacre by directly targeting residential areas, using artillery shells and rocket launchers in Darat Izza, Aleppo province,” said the monitor, which relies on a network of sources in the country.
“At least six civilians, including a pregnant woman, were killed in Darat Izza, and two other civilians in the locality of Abzimou” in the same province, which added in a new toll.
Earlier, five regime soldiers were killed by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, formerly the local branch of Al-Qaeda, in the north of Latakia province, according to the Observatory.
It said the HTS attack was a response to the wounding of 14 civilians earlier on Sunday in Syrian regime bombardments of residential areas of Idlib city.
HTS controls swathes of Idlib province and parts of the neighbouring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.
The hardline Islamist group regularly clashes with Syrian regime forces and their Russian allies.
Jordan’s Army clashes with arms smugglers from Syria
The Jordanian army early on Monday repelled an attack by armed men at the border with Syria, Jordan News Agency stated. Several border guard soldiers were reportedly moderately wounded.
According to the report, the armed men who attempted to cross the border are a part of a terrorist organization that smuggles arms and drugs on the territory of Jordan.
The smugglers are said to have had a large number of missiles, automatic weapons and drugs on their hands.
The incident comes as the number of such attempts to cross the Syria-Jordan border by armed men has recently increased recently. The trafficking routes organized by militants from Syria and Iraq are said to reach cities in the West Bank.
We know who created Syria’s torture programme and how
This article in The New Arab, by Nerma Jelacic, Director of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), details the extensive efforts to document and bring to justice those responsible for Syria’s torture program.
Jelacic begins by referencing a recent ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which mandates that the Syrian state must prevent the torture of detainees and not destroy evidence of these acts. This ruling forms part of ongoing proceedings against Syria for violating the Convention against Torture.
The Commission for International Justice and Accountability has played a pivotal role in documenting human rights abuses in Syria. CIJA investigators have amassed over 1.3 million pages of regime-issued documents, shedding light on the brutal methods employed by the Syrian regime to maintain power.
According to the author, the Syrian regime initially denied reports of torture, mass arrests, and murders, attributing the violence to “armed terrorist groups” and justifying their actions as necessary for national security.
Contrary to the regime’s public stance, internal documents reveal that Syrian authorities were aware that demonstrators sought freedom and democracy. These documents indicate a systematic approach to suppressing these movements, including detailed intelligence gathering and aggressive policies against protesters.
The article highlights a circular from Military Intelligence Branch 294 as a critical document that set up the infrastructure for mass arrests and torture. This document exemplifies the bureaucratic nature of the Syrian regime’s crackdown.
The severity of the regime’s actions is further evidenced by internal reports and photographs, showing the brutal treatment of detainees leading to severe injuries, disabilities, and deaths.
CIJA’s evidence has been instrumental in various legal cases, including the civil lawsuit in the US over the killing of journalist Marie Colvin and the trial of a former Syrian colonel in Germany. The article also mentions recent arrests and trials in the Netherlands related to charges of torture and sexual violence, where CIJA’s evidence played a role.
The article concludes by acknowledging the slow process of justice but emphasizes that the collected evidence provides a clear indication of the parties responsible for the atrocities in Syria. The ongoing ICJ proceedings, bolstered by CIJA’s documentation, hold the potential for accountability and justice.
This article is a comprehensive account of the systematic efforts to document and prosecute those responsible for the Syrian regime’s torture program, illustrating the complexities and challenges in seeking justice for such large-scale human rights violations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.