Amnesty International has reported an investigation in which they interviewed former prisoners, policemen, warders and judges, and they have concluded that ca. 13,000 people were hanged in Saydnaya Prison in the past five years. And this is only one prison within the Syrian regime’s area of control. It was reported that people were randomly arrested and taken to the prison where they were kept crowded in cells and taken out for torture. Even people with no connection to any opposition group were treated this way. Then after some time, groups were taken to another cell secretly and hanged. Details of the location of such cells within the prison were shown and it was concluded that officials at the highest level were involved in ordering these atrocities.
Now in its fifth year the Syrian Civil War has reportedly taken ca. 600,000 lives, not counting injured. This is the way that the count increases, with the random arrest, torture and murder of anyone, including children. The Assad regime’s excuse for these arrests and tortures is that they are fighting terrorism. We know that some of the terrorists are no better, for example the Islamic State regularly murders anyone who is not Muslim, including Yazidis, Christians, Westerners and other Muslims, all are kaffir (or kuffur) i.e. infidels, and hence can be used as slaves and/or disposed of. The videos showing men being beheaded, drowned in cages, burnt alive, having their eyes gouged out, etc. etc. are gruesome evidence of the atrocities carried out by IS. So both sides are committing atrocities against anyone they consider their enemy. These are war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Those of us who are Jews and/or Israeli must wonder what would they do to us if they could. We know the enmity of Syria for many years, but the Assads were cautious, they knew that attacking Israel again would result in such destruction that it might cause their regime to fall, which is their biggest nightmare. That is at least rational, however, the IS is not even rational, who knows what atrocities they will continue to commit until they are defeated. Let’s hope the Trump Administration really does intend to defeat them. But, also the US should not overlook the atrocities of Russia’s and Iran’s ally, the Assad regime.