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Unlawful Attacks on Hospitals, Schools, Markets Forced Idlib Population Out

The Syrian and Russian armed forces’ repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib in northwest Syria were apparent war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Dozens of unlawful air…
A woman in a black niqab and face mask walks through a deserted street with a child
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12 killed on first day of new decade

(Beirut) – A ballistic missile equipped with a banned cluster munition warhead launched by Syrian forces killed 12 civilians, including 5 children, at a school on January 1, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The attack…
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White Phosphorus Should Be Included on the List

(Geneva) – Russia should support, not block, diplomatic talks about possible action to address the civilian harm caused by the use of incendiary weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  Issued…
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Court Holds Government Failed to Consider Violations in Yemen

(London) – The Court of Appeal in London ruled on June 20, 2019 that the United Kingdom government’s refusal to consider Saudi Arabia’s laws-of-war violations in Yemen before licensing arms sales was unlawful, Human Rights Watch said…
Destruction at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
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Major Rights Groups Intervene to Block Weapons Linked to Abuses in Yemen

 (London) – Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and RW UK intervened in a court case beginning today that is challenging the United Kingdom’s continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The case is being heard by the Court of Appeal for three…
Remnant of a UK-produced missile found at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
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Groups Will Provide Evidence of Attacks against Yemeni Civilians

(London) – Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and RW UK have received permission to intervene in a court case challenging the United Kingdom’s continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The case will be heard by the Court of Appeal…
Remnant of a UK-produced missile found at the location of an air strike at Radfan Ceramics Factory, west of Sanaa, Yemen, on September 23, 2015.
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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UN Should Immediately Deploy Monitors to Prevent Reprisal Executions

(Beirut) – With Russia’s continued support, the Syrian government is using unlawful tactics in its assault on Eastern Ghouta, including what appears to be the use of internationally banned weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. There…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Syrians Under Siege, Airstrikes as Leaders Gather in Sochi

(Beirut) – Russia, Turkey, and Iran should make protecting civilians a priority when they meet in Sochi, Russia on November 22, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent airstrikes by the Russian-Syrian joint military operation that…
The Atarib public market after the strike
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But Civilians Harmed by Use in Syria

(Geneva) – Most countries are making steady progress to eradicate cluster munitions, but stronger effort is required to deter use in countries that have not joined the international treaty to ban these weapons, Human Rights Watch said…
Trained technicians from Syria Civil Defense (“White Helmets”) identify and mark unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war for clearance and destruction in Idlib governorate on June 8, 2017.
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UN Security Council Vote Expected

(New York) – Russia and other United Nations Security Council members should support a proposed resolution that would impose sanctions on Syrian government officials responsible for chemical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. The Security Council is…
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UN General Assembly Should Organize Emergency Special Session

(New York) – The Russian-Syrian coalition committed war crimes during a month-long aerial bombing campaign of opposition-controlled territory in Aleppo in September and October 2016. The Violations Documentation Center…
Ruins of a residential house that was struck in an aerial attack, killing at least 24 civilians, on September 27, 2016.
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Russia, a Participant in the Abuse, Should Not Veto

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should demand that Syrian and Russian forces immediately halt unlawful attacks in eastern Aleppo and ensure that aid workers can safely deliver humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people…
An empty room at a damaged field hospital is seen after airstrikes in a rebel held area in Aleppo, October 1.
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Warring Parties Should Prioritize Protecting Civilians

(New York) – An attack on a United Nations aid convoy and on a Red Crescent warehouse in Aleppo should be investigated as possible war crimes. The apparent airstrikes on September 19, 2016, hit the convoy and building for over three hours with no military…
Damaged medical supplies after an airstrike on Urm al-Kubra town, western Aleppo city, Syria September 20, 2016
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Increasing Attacks on Civilian Areas Since Joint Operation Began

(Beirut) – The joint Syrian-Russian military operation has been using incendiary weapons, which burn their victims and start fires, in civilian areas of Syria in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Incendiary…
A picture of an incendiary weapon attack in Aleppo City
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UN Should Build Case to Prosecute

(New York) – Syrian and Russian military attacks on hospitals in recent weeks during the government air campaign in the Aleppo region are causing deaths and injuries and shutting down medical facilities. The United Nations Security Council should ask the…
Men and civil defence members look for survivors after an airstrike on a hospital in the town of Meles, western Idlib city in opposition armed forces-held Idlib province, Syria on August 6, 2016.
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Unexploded Submunitions Threaten Civilians

(New York) – The Syrian-Russian joint military operation in Syria has extensively used internationally banned cluster munitions in its recent offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented 47 cluster…
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Increased Use of Widely Banned Weapon

(Beirut) – The Syrian-Russian joint military operation in Syria has included the use of internationally banned cluster munitions in at least 14 attacks across five governorates since January 26, 2016. The attacks killed at least 37…
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Growing Support for Ban Despite New Use in Syria, Yemen

(Washington, DC) – Repeated use of cluster munitions in Syria and Yemen during 2015 has been met by growing international support for the treaty banning the deadly weapons, Human Rights Watch said today. The cluster munition attacks…
Remnants of Uragan cluster munition rockets collected by rebel fighters after attacks on Starobesheve on February 6 and 7.