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New evidence of Syria's regime withholding aid from civilians and enriching Assad loyalists

The Syrian regime has comitted mass atrocities [AFP]

Date of publication: 7 August, 2019

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A Syrian rights group has revealed evidence confirming previous reports that the Assad regime has been with aid response to benefit allies.

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Syria, aid, Assad
A Syrian human rights organisation has revealed that Bashar al-Assad's regime has been interfering with aid response entering Syria.

Documents obtained by the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC) have confirmed earlier reports that the Syrian regime developed a framework, with legal loopholes, that allows for aid and reconstruction funds to be divered to enrich militias that have enriched Assad loyalists.

SJAC say the documents have proven such claims, providing evidence that the Political Security Directorate - an intelligence agency notorious for torture and arbitrary arrests - gave orders to its branches on when to withhold aid from reaching civilians.

Aid was used as a weapon of war in areas held by the Syrian opposition, when the regime would prevent vital humanitarian supplies reaching civilians in these besieged regions.

Civilians in opposition-held areas were deprived from even life-saving supplies, as well as food, water and other necessities.

"These documents reveal how a key part of the Syrian government’s ability to co-opt aid and reconstruction funding lies in the abusive nature of the state apparatus itself," Human Rights Watch said in a response to their earlier reports being confirmed by SJAC.

The Syrian war began when the Syrian regime responded with military force to crush peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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