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January 15, 2013
The Syrian Emergency Task Force condemns in the strongest terms possible, the brutal attack on Aleppo University that has reportedly left at least 52 students and civilians dead and an unknown number wounded. At least two missiles struck the campus, one hitting the square in front of the Architecture Faculty Building, and the second behind Dormitory Building #8. A number of people who were driving in the main street next to the university burned to death in their cars as a result of the missile explosion. Students had returned to university campus for the first day of semester exams when the attack occurred, and Dormitory #8 was housing an unknown number of internally displaced persons from ongoing fighting in the city. Aleppo University has been the city’s epicenter for peaceful non-violent resistance to the Assad Regime and is a purely civilian area. This dreadful attack further underscores the Assad Regime’s continued targeting of civilian areas with lethal airpower and other heavy weapons.
“There is a clear pattern of the Assad Regime targeting known civilian areas with lethal force. The continued premeditated use of violence against civilians has been constant for almost two years. The silence of the international community, especially by the United States, is an implicit signal that such tactics are not sufficient to warrant protection of the Syrian people. In vocally warning against potential regime use of chemical weapons, President Obama simultaneously signaled that attacks like today's targeting of innocent university students does not cross any serious red lines,” says SETF Executive Director Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff.
The Syrian Emergency Task Force implores the international community to take collective action to stop the Assad Regime from continuing to perpetrate such current atrocities.
For additional information or comment, please contact:
Cassie Chesley – Media Coordinator, Syrian Emergency Task Force – (813) 763-0481