HRW: Syria regime responsible for demolitions

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported (PDF) Jan. 30 that Syrian authorities deliberately demolished residential neighborhoods with explosives and bulldozers in Damascus and Hama over the last year. The report found that the demolitions are related to the violent conflict in Syria between the government and opposition forces. HRW officials determined the correlation between the armed conflict and the demolitions from eyewitness testimonies, statements from government officials and the military's involvement in the demolitions. HRW believes this destruction to be in violation of the Hague Regulations, which forbid the unnecessary destruction of the enemy's property, and the Geneva Conventions (PDF), which prohibits the "extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly." HRW urges the Syrian government to halt wanton destruction of property and urges the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

From Jurist, Jan. 30. Used with permission.