Al Assi, known now as the revolution river, seems to be the only access for Syrian displaced, fleeing to Turkey from the shelling, especially after the escalation of the last few days, and after the regime shelled the Ramla bridge that was the path of all the injured heading to Lebanon. Here in Azmarin town, in the Idlib countryside, dozens of civilians, mostly injured, women and children, join and gather, their destination is the other side of the river, where they get help from the inhabitants of Haji Basha town, situated in the olive groves across the border in Turkey
- In our village the regime is shelling the houses of the civilians, the revolutionaries who are protecting us are trying to liberate Assad’s military checkpoints.
they drag their small wood boats, made by the revolutionaries, with ropes to the other side, transporting the injured and others.
- are there more injured? - the injured are coming, they have not arrived yet.
Volunteers and doctors created medical units for first aid, equipped with ambulances, cars transporting the injured to Antakya hospitals, and the refugees to Hatay’s refugee camps.
Al Assi river seperates syria and turkey for about 2 km, and has become an important crossing for the revolution. Through it medical and logistic aid reach the FSA, especially as the besieged cities such as Idlib, Hama and Homs are near the river
with very simple possibilities , Sarmada village ( on the turkish syrian borders ) close to Bab el hawa crossing ,received its injuries due to criminal miliatry campain led by Assad criminal army where they used tanks and heavy machine guns :
-continuous shelling on the civilians unarmed people houses in Sarmada by Assad army in sarmada village , heavy shelling. it resulted of many injuries till now children women and elderies. -heavy random shelling on civilians houses ,in Sarmada 19-5-2012 ,we saw now the light of the shell that fell on one civilian house . the shelling is continuous on Sarmada village ,the village is completely besieged by tanks .the human condition is very bad ; electicity cut ,no comunication ,no water , shooting , that is another shell , it fell on one civilian house in Sarmada - The Shrapnels and fragments are flying ! - I hear them from here , very close to us - They are very close to us only ,some meters far from us !
in the car : hazem : what are the last results of the battefeilds and clashes driver: god willing 16 tanks were exploded hazem : are you sure of the information ? driver: yes God willing . hazem : where ? driver : in old Bab el hawa - is there any defections ? -yes yes ,.. we heard that , but we didnt see . -sounds of shelling ,Sarmada village - Assad battalions , shooting ,heavy machine guns ,shelling by artilery .
Hazem : what were your accomplishemnets today ? FSA : we say 14 tanks ,and defections as well .about 15 soldiers deffected . we captured one and we got information from him about that . question ; u mean a captured soldier ?! answer : yes a captured soldier . question : what do you say to the village people here ? are you going to withdraw or stay and defend them ?! answer : we will defend them with our blood ,god willing question : what are the news ?! takbir takbir
(New York) – Human Rights Watch issued the following statement on March 23, 2012, concerning the Russian Foreign Ministry’s use of a Human Rights Watch statement to support a one-sided position on Syria:
In its March 22, 2012 statement, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “deep concern” over human rights violations committed by armed groups affiliated with the Syrian opposition, extensively citing an open letter on this issue published by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch also learned that Russian diplomats used the open letter in informal Security Council discussions on March 22 in an attempt to equate the violence by both sides.
Russia’s attention to concerns expressed in the letter to the Syrian opposition is a positive development. Human Rights Watch is committed to objective documentation and exposing abuses by all sides in Syria. The selective use of the findings, however, causes serious concern.
Since the beginning of the protests in Syria, Human Rights Watch has produced over 60 publications, including three extensive reports, on human rights violations by Syrian government forces. These publications contain detailed documentation of widespread and systematic abuses, including killings of peaceful protesters, shelling of residential neighborhoods, large-scale arbitrary detention and torture, “disappearances,” executions, denial of medical assistance, and looting.
Human Rights Watch concluded that that some of these violations constitute crimes against humanity and repeatedly called for an end to abuses and accountability for the perpetrators. Human Rights Watch presented the findings directly to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging Russia to use its strong bilateral relations with the Syrian government as well as its weight in the international arena to put an end to government abuses.
None of these findings have been ever acknowledged by Russian officials.
Instead, despite overwhelming evidence of egregious crimes committed by the Syrian security forces, Russia provides diplomatic and military support to Bashar al-Assad’s government and has repeatedly blocked international action aimed at stopping the violations and bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice.
Abuses by opposition fighters are also not an argument for the international community, including Russia, to wash its hands of the Syria crisis, on the grounds that it is too complicated. On the contrary, they are an argument for intensifying pressure on the Syrian government to stop its abuses.
Russia should not pick and choose. If it relies on Human Rights Watch’s findings to support its condemnation of abuses by the Syrian opposition, it should pay equal attention to the extensive documentation of violations by government forces and support international efforts to stop those violations.