What we saw in Syria
September 5th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

What we saw in Syria

By Ole Solvang, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ole Solvang is researcher with the Emergencies Division at Human Rights Watch. The views expressed are his own.  You can follow him on Twitter: @olesolvang

After a month investigating human rights violations in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, we were hoping that the last day of our mission would be relatively quiet. It didn’t turn out that way.

We started the day at an emergency hospital in the opposition-controlled area of Aleppo city. As a nurse listed the names and ages of civilians who had been killed in artillery and aerial attacks in Aleppo city the last couple of days, we heard a strike. An artillery shell hit a house just 200 meters from the hospital, and within minutes, the wounded started pouring in. Someone brought in a little boy. There was nothing the doctors could do – half of his head was blown away.

We visited several sites of attacks around the city, speaking to witnesses and victims, examining the sites, looking at the remnants of ammunition, and taking photos. As we returned to the hospital in the afternoon, we suddenly saw people looking warily at the sky, and minutes later heard a fighter jet. We ran for cover just in time – a rocket slammed into a building two houses over from the hospital, collapsing the top floors. Five little kids, all covered in blood and dust, were brought into the hospital, while the neighbors were struggling to reach others under the ruins. Later, we learned that the attack killed two people and wounded 17, 10 of them children.

That day, aerial attacks continued outside Aleppo city. Just minutes before we returned to Marea, a town in northern Aleppo, a fighter jet dropped two bombs in the middle of the town, destroying several homes. Nobody was inside, but several children playing in the street were injured.

Opposition forces recently drove the Syrian military out of most of the northern Aleppo countryside and about half of Aleppo city. For the last month, the two sides have taken turns advancing and retreating, a couple of streets at a time, with neither party making much progress.

As part of their combat strategy, government forces have attacked areas away from the frontlines, using artillery, helicopters and fighter jets. We have documented that many of these attacks have killed and wounded dozens of civilians.

More from GPS: 'They burned my heart'

Parties to a conflict are, of course, not allowed to deliberately target or indiscriminately attack civilians. Sometimes, civilians might be killed in lawful attacks on military objectives. But that does not seem to have been the case with many of the recent attacks that we have documented in Aleppo.

During an investigation of artillery and aerial attacks like these, one of our top priorities is to look for potentially legitimate military objectives – opposition military bases, checkpoints, troop movements, weapons’ depots – which might have been the intended target. We examine the sites and interview witnesses and local residents who can tell us exactly what was going on before the attacks.

In some cases, we were able to identify potentially legitimate targets. In the town of Azaz, for example, an aerial attack that hit a residential area might have been intended to strike an old Baath party building that opposition military and civilian leaders were using. The building, however, was located 300 meters from where the bombs landed. If the Baath party building indeed had been the target, the fighter jet completely missed it, destroying instead dozens of civilian homes, killing at least 46 and injuring more than 100.

Other attacks, such as the fighter jet attack that struck a house close to the hospital on the last day of our mission, didn’t seem to be targeting any legitimate military objective. We walked past the house five minutes before it was hit. No opposition troops were there and there was nothing in the debris afterward to suggest military activity.

Most disconcertingly, however, we found evidence suggesting that some of the attacks targeted civilians. In the course of three weeks in August, government forces attacked at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo province, sometimes killing and injuring dozens of civilians who had lined up to buy bread. In one of the deadliest attacks, on August 21, on a bakery in the Bab al-Hadid area in Aleppo city, a helicopter had been circling overhead for hours. When a line formed in front of the bakery as it was about to open in the early evening, a helicopter dropped a bomb, which killed at least 20 people standing in line, witnesses told us. One of the witnesses we spoke to gave us a video that he filmed right after the attack, showing dozens of people lying on the ground, some with missing arms and legs. We could see no weapons. It seemed that everybody wore civilian clothes, as opposed to camouflage clothes and ammunition vests usually worn by fighters, supporting witness accounts that all the victims were civilians. Reckless indiscriminate attacks and deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes.

Thousands of people in Aleppo have fled their neighborhoods, or even the country, fearing these attacks. But many are still there. While some neighborhoods and towns are almost completely deserted, others are bustling with life.

Local activist groups say that August has been the deadliest month since the beginning of the uprising, with more than 4,000 civilians killed. Increased use of artillery and aerial attacks, some of which have been recklessly indiscriminate or deliberately targeted against civilians, have contributed to the high death toll. The international community should send a clear message to the Syrian government that such war crimes will not be tolerated.

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Topics: Syria

soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Anti-Chris

    I say let Syria and the rest of those nations rip themselves apart if that's what they want. Chris, with all of your highly rapid, highly detailed, highly inaccurate comments, I'm surprised CNN hasn't investigated you for breaking some Terms of Service or something. My guess is you're being paid by someone sympathetic to Assad's regime and are probably more like a group of people rather than 1 man acting under a username. Back to the topic at hand – I honestly hope Syria, Iran, and every other Muslim nation tries to attack Israel. Once Israel responds we won't have to deal with radical Islam anymore because they'll be down a billion Muslims. So please Muslim nations, provoke Israel. Israel ... do your thing!

    September 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  2. Christian American

    You people are all the DUPES of America who get indoctrinated by government propaganda sources like THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA. For 18 months now I have been hearing about what a monster Assad is. Really? How does a killer who enjoys butchering his own people last that long? One would think 20 million people would instantly revolt if they knew their fate was imminent death. For the past decade actually I have been hearing about what a good leader Assad was, British educated, modern, on the path to improving his country. All of a sudden, he decides to butcher innocent people left and right? What planet do you DUPES live on?

    "Oh but Assad is a "dictator" " – so????? Western Imperialism has been manufacturing puppet dictators since WWII. Since when is being a dictator not normal in the Middle East? You hate Islamic fundamentalist dictatorships? Good, then start with toppling Saudi Arabia – the source for a large chunk of the terrorism throughout the world. "Oh but then gas prices might double and I want to keep my SUV/Bus" – oh OK silly me, I should not have gone there.

    BTW it is terrorist inclined countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey who are arming their terrorists in northern Syria – the supposed "Free Syrian Army" made up of a minority of Sunni extremist Syrians and majority of foreigners like Libyans, Saudis, Turks, Qataris, Iraqis, Afghan Taliban, etc, all extremist fundamentalist Sunni terrorist minded fanatics and all funded by and compliments of our "important ally and friend" Saudi Arabia.

    The funniest part here is if someone is pro-Assad he must be a Muslim – ha ha, you people are a bunch of clowns if I've ever seen any. The OPPOSITE of what you believe is true. Assad's religion first of all is perhaps the mildest form of Islam there is, which has elements of both Islam and Christianity. Are you a Christian and care for other Christians? Then you would actually support Assad if that was true. If Assad is ousted, a couple million Christians in Syria and one of the oldest Christian communities of the world, could instantly be wiped out at the hands of Sunni terrorists.

    In the meantime, I know most of you ignoramuses will disagree with this post, and you DUPES are welcomed to revel in your own ignorance. Ignorance is bliss for those that live by the indoctrination of "main stream media".

    September 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • chad

      "How does a killer who enjoys butchering his own people last that long? One would think 20 million people would instantly revolt if they knew their fate was imminent death."
      ----
      They did revolt once he started killing, imprisoning, and torturing his own people, hence the situation happening presently.
      Will God forgive you (if you believe in Allah), since you idolize Assad and approve of his murders? I am

      The media that dupes people is SANA, the news agency in Syria. It is a state media organisation controlled by the Syrian Ministry of Information. Biased is the definition of their "news" aka lies.

      But you are obviously a part of the SEA (Syrian Electronic Army) and your ridiculous words are meaningless to rational human beings.

      The saddest part of all that you wrote is that you try to justify that its ok for Assad to slaughter civilians through methods of deflection. Do you really believe that is ok, Assad murdering civilians? women? CHILDREN?
      What if Assad was a Sunni and began to slaughter Alawite civilians? Would you weep and revolt? Or would you continue to take his money to post propaganda online...as you do now?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:01 am |
      • Christian American

        Since you can't counter what I wrote, you are trying to paint me in a negative light and making assumptions. Where did I write that I approve of the murders by Assad? Unlike you, I happen to know a little bit more about what's going on in Syria, and it is the opposite of what you and other dupes here think – such is the power of "western media".

        The people of Syria never revolted. As a result of the events of the region, they thought they could peacefully demonstrate against Assad and at first they did. That's when TERRORISTS backed by western imperialists made their moves and went inside peaceful demonstrators and start shooting at the police who were trying to keep order. After 18 months thousands are dead as a result of this pseudo-revolution. Assad is doing what any other government in the world would do – trying to protect his country. And yes, innocent people are dying as a result.

        But then why aren't you complaining that the TERRORISTS are hiding among civilians and firing weapons at the army instead of fighting face to face? So much for a "free Syrian army" and in fact that's why they have ZERO SUPPORT by Syrians, even Sunni Syrians who hate Assad – because they know very well that their future is under extremist fundamentalist Islam if and when Assad is toppled. And for your information these TERRORISTS are the ones butchering children and then blaming Assad. If children died as a result of Assad's fire – it was not intentional. If children dies at the hands of TERRORISTS it was INTENTIONAL – and therein lies the difference.

        And nowhere in my post did I say Assad was an angel. I merely pointed out the alternative proposal, which is a joke and an insult not only to the average Syrian, but to humanity in general. You and everyone else here trash talking about Assad are either clueless dupes or you all have an agenda: you'd like to see Iran's only partner in the region destroyed, even if that means a hellish life for the Syrians thereafter and the destruction of the Christians in the region. The pursuit of oil takes precedence over EVERYTHING. The US, and allies could care less who dies in the region, and they could care less about dictatorships and democracies as long as they do the oil industries bidding. End of story.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Justine Smith

      "he's a dictator- so???"

      Haha, man, that was a good one. Open a history book once in while and figure out why being a tyrant never pays in the long run. This isn't just a US ideology imposed on other systems of government. It's about human values and respecting human life. Go lick your leaders hand to get your cookie now.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  3. Brendan

    Call me a sheep if you will, but for some reason I trust eyewitness accounts more than I do the blatherings of a few anti-Western idiots mindlessly thumbing their keyboards in support of an undeniably murderous regime. You can be anti-West AND deplore the senseless violence and depredation of Assad and his Alawite thugs; the two are not mutually exclusive!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Christian American

      You can also be pro-west and reject your countries war-mongering, support of terrorists, and destruction of countries for the sake of Iran's oil instead of reiterating media gibberish like a drone. You can also find alternative sources for news, and eye witness accounts about how Assad is a brutal dictator, but his foes are much, much worse.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 am |
      • chris

        in fact Robert Fisk has reported as such.
        Western powers and usual media hold Assad entirely responsible for every act of violence that could possibly be his doing but car bombs, killing of leading Syrian scientists, executions, killing and terror of ethnic minorities is not the doing of "free" Syrian Army, it's a few bad apples. In fact, at some point they tried to blame the car bombs on him as well. We have seen this movie before in US sponsored Jihadists blackups elsewhere.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  4. direct hit

    A one sided story most suitable for CNN to broadcast as it seves it's agenda to protect US,Western and Israeki interests. Why not CNN advocate democracy in puppet regimes of KSA,Qatar and other emirates and the way Bahrain protesters are treated.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  5. sajeev kumar

    This is not a replay to the above article. It is my opinion.
    Dear Syrians,
    The war there in Syria does not make any sense at all. It is utter foolishness. The world community only managed to divide the Syria in to two or more fractions fighting each other to gain control of Sria. It is simply not a war between the regime of King Assad and those who oppose him. Now the interest of many nations is at work in the ground and that is what is happening in Syria. Practically there is no one really want to see a peaceful and united Syria at the movement. The result is total chaos. The common man, women and children, all are helpless.
    Providing arms to any side of the warring faction is a sin and crime, because they can cause only more death and violence. The nations outside Syria and the United Nations are not successful in controlling the violence. It is assumed as failure of UN and the international community.
    This is against all known philosophy of human kind in the civilized world. It is a backward journey from the civilize world.
    This exercise is not the right way to bring democracy to any nation now or in future. This is wrong, if this slaughtering is taking place in the name of democracy. Democracy is not always a better alternative. For example India is now a looters paradise. Anyone can loot anyone. Slowly and steadily this world’s largest democracy is slipping in to chaos. The common man is looted everywhere. There are more than three hundred political parties operating in India. It is the biggest business here. There is no real freedom or liberation. There is no stable and strong government. There are many kingdoms in the Middle East which are relatively very stable and run all affairs pretty well and they are less corrupted. Here the whole society is corrupted. No Indian get a house hold electric connection without bribing the officials.
    Recently I met an engineering graduate who had to pay one thousand five hundred rupees to get his birth certificate. And here is an unending story.

    Here in Syria it is not humanity at work. Free Syria Army is not going to offer a free Syria as the rest of the world suppose. This country will become a more fundamentalist one in case the FSA wins. The first thing to do is let the foreigners get out of this country and get out of this messy situation. Let all the Syrians decide their future themselves. Ceasefire is the first exercise towards that direction. They have been living like very good brothers until this conflict broke out. What happen then can be considered as an uncontrollable and mistake. I do not personally blame all the Syrians. We all are human beings and none of us can be absolutely perfect. Things can go wrong even with the most perfect. So just ignore the past events. You must observe absolute patience at present. Don’t listen to the world outside Syria whether they say well or bad about your people. Think that they are actually helpless in this gruesome situation. The People should unite and ask Mr. Assad to stop attacking his own people. See this war is highly destructive; it will take years of hard work to rebuild Syria to a pre war situation. The earlier you do it the better it is. The more delayed it the more deaths and destruction will be result.
    This adviser is an emerging saint like person from India. I had a few Syrian friends while I was in the Middle East. They all loved me; I do not remember their names.
    I am a self learned and god realized man. I am free from all religions. You can prosper if you can follow my wods.
    I have developed a new form of democracy. It is in its infancy now. May be we can apply there as a trial. My mind says it is a modern democracy. Unlike other democracies there are no opposition parties in this in this system. Like democrats and republicans we will have actives and passives. The winners of the election will be the actives and the losers will be passives. Means the deputy ministers in all departments will be passives and they are also actively participating in the affairs of the government. So there are little chances of corruption and there will be a strong government. I like the democratic think tanks in the world should think about this new idea and give suggestions to make it a better one. Io developed this form of democracy for the future of this country. But I am afraid; no one is going to listen to me here in India. I know they are very back ward in adopting new ideas and they spend more time on arguing. I have more to offer if you are ready. You can send your suggestions to my mail directly. My email address is – skeverlasting@gmail.com and the number to call if you like – +91 944 11 323 71.

    Many thanks,
    Sajeev Kumar.
    6 September2012
    11:25 AM, Andhrapredesh,
    India.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Justine Smith

      Maybe the FSA is not the solution, and could spell out future problems. But this doesn't justify Assad's genocide of his own population. He's going down in history as one of the bloodiest tyrants of all times and I sure hope he's going to live a long, painful life to regret it.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  6. bluesquid

    I would be proud to be a muslim, if I was religious. Have you guys heard of freedom of religion.To all the haters leave them alone and clean your house .

    September 6, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Quigley

      hahahahaha denying you are muslim. Good try!
      Alahu snackbar says you can deny being muslim if it advances your argument as long as you believe in him deep down.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:26 am |
      • Say You Say Me

        Sir, you are an idiot. A racist bigot. Go away...please.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Did somebody say something?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  7. vivek

    Hi all I am vivekananda swamy m, from INDIA............................For all this should happen don't fight.....nothing come and nothing goes what matters is internal peace.......JESUS said BELIEVE that GOD ALMIGHTY has a plan for all. Jesus also said many things. One of my favorite is JESUS IS TRUTH, JESUS IS WAY and JESUS IS LIFE.....Thank you Believe him and you will get what you should want today i.e PEACE of Heart. Bye..Bye take care....Good or Bad Please mail me vivekm.ktc@gmail.com

    September 6, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • Justine Smith

      Yada yada yada keep your Jesus in your pocket, thank you very much.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  8. chris

    One dimension of the insurgency is rural vs urban, although not universal, it is an undeniable factor. Much of the middle class now is more frightened by the Saudi sponsored and US backed "freedom fighters" than the secular dictatorship. Assad has substantial support in Aleppo and among Christian and other minorities who what is to come when the state is overthrown by these groups. The people who started the protest are not all present in this insurgency. Of course Assad did too little too late to reform and is responsible for violent suppression of peaceful protests. But I am of the view that insurgency is far more dangerous for Syrians in the long term that the Assad regime. US played this game in Afghanistan and the consequences for the West and the Afghan people have been grave.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Yup, the Aleppo that is being pounded to smithereenes by your owner Assad?
      I am so sure that the people in Aleppo support him.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • chris

        Hama was pounded not aleppo, by Assad's standard, he has been restrained because he knows he has support there. The insurgency has control over northern rural areas because of popular support. The insurgency is also responsible for taking the war into a city that did not demonstrate against the regime in any substantial measure. The decided to take the war to the people of Aleppo because unlike the rural north, they did not support them. As far as they people of Aleppo are concerned, they are simply caught in the middle. labeling someone who tells you the complicated truth is an easy way out.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  9. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Mayhem around the globe is work of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, secular to undermine truth absolute, hinduism, criminality of hindu's deniers of truth absolute, fooling humanity to kill each other under cover of hinduism, corruption of truth absolute called religions, for more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ Time is now to get rid of hindu Jew's criminal secular s pretending to be truth absolute god of humanity.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  10. What We Saw In Indian Occupied Kashmir

    "Amnesty International is calling for an impartial investigation into mass graves found in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Sunday, India's Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission released a report saying a three-year investigation had uncovered 2,156 unidentified bodies in 38 sites in the region. In a statement released Monday, Amnesty International asked Indian officials to allow impartial forensic experts to carry out a thorough investigation of the skeletal remains. The rights group also urged Indian authorities to ensure the safety of the witnesses who gave statements to police during the investigation. Indian authorities conducted the inquiry in response to allegations that Indian security forces have committed rights abuses in fighting a more than two-decade-long Muslim separatist insurgency. Rights activists say at least 8,000 people have gone missing in Indian Kashmir since the separatists began fighting in 1989 for independence from Hindu-majority India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. Rebel attacks and Indian government crackdowns have killed at least 50,000 people.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Baylor

      I want an imediate solution to Kashmir problem in India. There should be an immediate election and let people decide. That is the american way. Drone the hindus if they don't like it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Charlie

      Shame on these Indian Hindus. Today these Indians refused to do DNA tests to identify those murdered by Indian Army in Kashmir. I say deport all indians from America.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  11. What We Saw In Indian Occupied Kashmir

    NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination……
    She said so little was known about the atrocities being committed by more than half a million Indian troops, the continuing repression and indignities let loose on Kashmiri men, women and children.
    More than 700,000 troops were concentrated in the tiny valley, with checkpoints at every nook and corner of Kashmiri towns and cities. The huge Indian presence, she added, was in sharp contrast with 160,000 US troops in Iraq.
    Ms Roy alleged that Indian army or security personnel were killing young children and women some of them pregnant.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Baylor

      This problem has been ongoing for over 70 years !!! Enough is enough. How long does it take to hold elections?. Just like we do in Puerto Rico LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE VIA POLLS WHAT THEY WANT.....INDEPENDENCE OR WHAT.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Kick down Gandhi's statue in New York. Put it in a pigpen.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  12. What We Saw In Indian Occupied Kashmir

    NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination.
    “Kashmir is one of the most protracted and bloody occupations in the world — and one of the most ignored,” she told a large audience at the Asia Society during a discussion on “Kashmir — a case for freedom”.
    Under the Indian military rule in Kashmir, Ms Roy said, freedom of speech was non-existent and human rights abuses were routine. Elections were rigged and the press controlled.
    She said the lives of Kashmiris were made miserable by gun-totting security personnel who harassed and terrorised people with impunity, adding that disappearances were almost a daily occurrence as also kidnapping, arrests, fake encounters and torture. Mass graves have been discovered and the conscience of the world remains unstirred……
    The apathy towards Kashmir, especially in the western world, Ms Roy said, was because of their pursuit of commercial interests in India where they were more eager to “sell their goods than human rights”……..

    September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Baylor

      SOLVE THE FREAKIN PROBLEM....HOLD ELECTIONS !!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • Charlie

        I cant stand these hindus for the evil they represent

        September 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  13. SpeakTruth

    We watched Saddam's neck snap.

    We watched Gaddafi get beaten to death

    Hopefully we will see Assad get skinned alive.

    While Asma watches while they play their favorite Phil Collins song. Then spare her life so she can live with that image every single day until she dies, just like they did to so many othe Syrians.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • SpeakTruth

      EDIT: Not hopefully, WHEN.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Say You Say Me

    INDIA: Between two Deities: KALI & PANCHALI

    The problem with India is that is built on a system of cultural and societal values based on Hinduism which is a cult. Nations built on a cult seldom survive in the long run. Now just take a look at these two Hindu goddesses and the destruction and lack of morality they represent.

    Goddess Kali's statue stands naked astride the inanimate body of the Hindu deity Shiva, tongue stuck out with blood dripping from fang-like teeth. She holds a noose, a skull-topped staff, a blood-encrusted sword and a severed head. Disgusting, to say the least. Would you want your kids growing up with such inspiration?

    Meanwhile, goddess Panchali was married to five brothers. Which one would become the legitimate father of his child should she have one? Dr Charles (renowned author and an authority on India) says that instances of incest are common in Hindu scriptures. Decadent ! Immoral !

    Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ to learn more hinduism, criminality of hindu's criminals and deny truth absolute to make humanity their gentile, slaves for ever, hinduism, illegality way of hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters to deny human equality granted by truth absolute.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Charlie

      No wonder these Indian Hindus are so screwed up.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  15. AgrippaMT

    Like milllions of Syrians, we Americans look forward to hearing that Bashar Al-Assad has been assassinated. May it happen soon.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Patrick

      There will be no congratulations until I see what is coming next?
      If other arab spring/winter countries are any example, it will be the same.
      Hell is coming to Syria, this is just the beginning.

      September 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Irgun

    Gentlemen,

    Please do not shed crocodile tears for the Syrian people caught between Assad and the
    The jihadist from Libia, Qatar, Al Qaida and British,French,Israeli and ours special forces because we
    fund and staged this fiasco.
    Are we there for democracy working with countries as Saudi Arabia Qatar and Bahrein who recently
    committed bigger per capita massacres and where Christian and women rights are non existing compared
    With Syria?

    Nobody reports on the massacres,executions and bombing done by the rebels and Al Qaida
    embedded within the civilians like in Faludja and the foreign death squads ?
    We all know the countries involved have a lot of money to spent on PR

    September 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  17. Tony

    Seems the US gets blamed whether it gets involved or doesn't.
    That being the case, I am just as happy it is not American servicemen getting killed for more people that could not care less that they are there.
    Syrians want to kill each other off, let them.
    Foreign fighters too, Iranians, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, Muslim brotherhood, the whole lot of them. Everyone will be better off when they are all dead.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  18. Bob

    Sadly, more or less whats new or different to any war in the past. WWII – carpet bombing of civilian areas. Vietnam – bombing of civilian areas. Iraq – case in point Fallujah where 40% of city reduced to rubble, and ~ 6000 civilians killed in allied reduction of that city ( also with few lightly armed rebels/bad guys, whatever in it – but zero journalists or human rights watch representatives for unknown reasons given that they had free access one assumes ). Drone strikes – widely reported that when US implements a drone strike very often the so called militants killed are actually civilians ( practice has been dubbed crowd killing offshore of the US ), and these are even intentionally targeted, so absent even the merit of being coincidental. Bottom line, a condition driven and legitimized by our own ( and others ) hypocrisy which dictates that when we do it is unavoidable collateral damage, when our opponents do it it is an act too horrible to contemplate. Net effect? No universally applicable and accepted measure of what is acceptable/unacceptable can exist or be implemented.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:03 am |
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