Syrian victims who suffered an alleged chemical attack at Khan al-Assal village according to SANA, are covered by blankets as they receive treatment, at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/SANA)

AI urges end to ‘unlawful’ attacks on Syria’s Aleppo

Tehran, Nov 1, IRNA – The Amnesty International, in a statement on Monday, urged armed opposition groups in Syria to stop the fierce offensive on the western city of Aleppo, describing the indiscriminate attacks mainly targeting civilian areas as unlawful.

A report by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights suggests that at least 48 people, including 17 children, have been killed since the opposition groups unleashed their relentless attacks on the government-controlled areas in western Aleppo on 28 October.

‘The goal of breaking the siege on eastern Aleppo does not give armed opposition groups a license to flout the rules of international humanitarian law by bombarding civilian neighborhoods in government-held areas without distinction,’ said Samah Hadid, Deputy Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office.

“Armed opposition groups have displayed a shocking disregard for civilian lives,’ hadid said.

‘Video footage shows they have used imprecise explosive weapons including mortars and Katyusha rockets, whose use in the vicinity of densely populated civilian areas flagrantly violates international humanitarian law,’ she said.

‘Armed opposition groups must end all attacks that fail to distinguish between military targets and civilians,” she said.

On 30 October a “toxic gas” attack was mounted by opposition groups against al-Hamdaniyeh and al-Assad areas of western Aleppo leaving scores of injuries, said the Syrian state news agency SANA.

“Chemical weapons are internationally banned and their use is a war crime. Such weapons cause immense suffering and health damage. Their use can never be justified and regardless of who is behind this attack, all parties to the conflict must halt the use of all prohibited weapons of war,” Hadid said.

The al-Nusra Front terrorist group along with other terrorist factions is taking advantage of the ceasefire announced by Damascus and Moscow to intensify attacks on civilian areas in Aleppo.

Officials from Iran, Syria and Russia have recently meet in Moscow in a tripartite meeting to find a durable solution to the crisis in Syria.