[QODLink]
Middle East
Syrians under 'indiscriminate' attack
Rights group Amnesty International says Syrian forces waging "relentless" attacks against its people.
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2012 08:58
Civilians have been caught in the middle of fighting between rebels and government forces [AFP]

Rights group Amnesty International has accused Syrian forces of waging "relentless” and “indiscriminate" attacks against its people.

The London-based rights group, which accompanied its report with video footage, said "civilians, many of them children, are the main victims of a campaign of relentless and indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian army".

Amnesty said the findings were based on "first-hand field investigations carried out in the first half of September".

During that period, attacks killed "166 civilians, including 48 children and 20 women, and injured hundreds in 26 towns and villages" in the northwestern regions of Idlib, Jabal al-Zawiya and the northern Hama area.

Donatella Rovera from Amnesty International told Al Jazeera that she witnessed “evidence of indiscriminate air bombardment and artillery strikes” in all of the 26 towns and villages she visited in northern Syria".

 “The use by [Syrian] government forces of what are essentially battlefield weapons cannot be aimed at specific targets but that fall randomly over civilian residential areas is what has made the situation so much worse over the last six or seven weeks,” Rovera told Al Jazeera from neighbouring Turkey.

“The number of civilians that have been killed or injured has increased dramatically,” Rovera said.

Border crossing seized

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels have seized control of a border crossing on the frontier with Turkey and pulled down the Syrian flag.

A reporter from the Associated Press at the scene on Wednesday said Syrians on the Turkish side of the border were celebrating and yelling, “I am a free Syrian!" People are moving freely across the border, crawling under barbed wire.

There were fierce clashes on Tuesday as rebels and regime forces fought for control of the Tal Abyad crossing.

Syria's rebels control several other border crossings into Turkey but it is believed to be the first time they have tried to take the border area in the northern province of Raqqa.

While in Damascus, an opposition activist in the Tadamon neighbourhood told Al Jazeera by phone on Wednesday that rebel fighters had withdrawn from three areas of the capital due to what he said was a "lack of ammunition".

The activist, Abu Qais al-Shami, said the areas, Hajar al-Asswad, al-Qadam and Asseil, were also under a tight Syrian army siege as they were struck by air bombardment and tank shelling.

400

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.