Human Rights Watch has released a new report on Syria today. Titled “Razed to the Ground,” it aims to show the illegal destruction of entire neighborhoods in the war-torn country between 2012 and 2013.
The details of the report are striking: In just one year residential buildings that took up 145 hectares (360 acres) were destroyed. HRW writes that the demolitions often occurred after state troops had cleared an area of rebels, but sometimes took place miles away from military or strategic locations.
“Wiping entire neighborhoods off the map is not a legitimate tactic of war,” Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch, writes. “These unlawful demolitions are the latest additions to a long list of crimes committed by the Syrian government.”
As evidence, HRW has included satellite images that appear to show huge swaths of neighborhoods reduced to rubble. The satellite images act not only as a form of proof, but as a stark reminder of the scale of the destruction.
You can see much more satellite images in the report itself.