‘India must tell Syria to protect civilians’

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Human Rights Watch has urged India to tell Syria not to harm civilians while battling anti-government rebels.

“The Assad government has appealed for support from India, both directly when the political advisor visited New Delhi in March, and later in a letter to BRICS,” Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch said.

“And since we see no response from the Syrian government to address human rights violations or to provide access to cross-border humanitarian assistance, we hope India will impress upon the Syrian government the need for civilian protections,” she said in a statement.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Syrian Air Force has repeatedly carried out indiscriminate and in some cases deliberate strikes against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law.

According to a network of Syrian activists, air strikes have killed more than 4,300 civilians across Syria since July 2012.

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