Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)

A report on the destruction of schools and its consequences

The Syrian network for human rights documented the destruction of homes and general construction in the various Syrian districts through conducting a detailed study over the past year and through gathering information from the daily network reports. The information and figures in this survey can be confirmed to an acceptable degree of accuracy, and provide an update of a similar report which was published approx four months ago.

Since the start of this Syrian revolution, the Syrian army’s forces have used heavy weapons against the civilians, such as tanks, heavy artillery, Shilka and snipers.  Since the 8th month of the revolution, military aircraft has been introduced when the regime started shelling with helicopters and for the past 7 months they have used military aircraft in a systematic manner and on a daily basis. Additionally explosive barrels have been used for the past 5 months, each barrel weighs half a ton, and for approx ten days they have used scud missiles which have widespread destructive effects.

 The regime specifically targeted and destroyed the revolutionary neighbourhoods and those in which defected soldiers reside,  these areas were almost completely demolished such as Al Qaboun neighbourhood in Damascus , Al Insha’at neighbourhood in Al Qusoor, Homs,  Masha’ Al Arba’een in Hama and Al sheikh Yasin in Deir Al Zor.

All this caused the damage of 2.945 million buildings including homes, schools, mosques, churches and hospitals. 20% of these are completely demolished, this is approx 589 buildings.
The remaining construction was partially damaged; this includes bullet penetration of the walls and broken windows, doors etc.

Among the buildings destroyed, primary and secondary schools won their fair share of the destruction, as they were affected by the indiscriminate shelling. This happened is Homs, Al Qusour which is now flattened land, where schools have been specifically targeted because civilians who left their homes to escape the regimes shelling resided in them, many of those civilians also left their homes to escape the massacres committed by the Syrian governments’ forces.

Out of the 2.945 million damaged homes in Syria, more than 3873 schools have been destroyed completely or partially damaged. More than 450 of those schools are completely demolished, and most of these schools are in Homs, Rural Damascus and Aleppo. These schools are completely destroyed and cannot be repaired or reconstructed and require rebuilding as estimated by the civil engineers who work with the Syrian network for human rights. The 3423 schools left are partially damaged to and can be repaired.

Approx 2500 of the 3423 partially damaged schools, were turned into refuge homes for displaced civilians inside the Syrian territory. Out of the 4.8 million displaced people inside Syria, more than 650 thousand reside in these schools, mostly in Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.

Approx 150 of these partially damaged schools have been converted to field hospitals to aid the injured people who became wounded as a result of the indiscriminate shelling by the Syrian regimes forces.  The civilians in those areas are afraid to send the wounded to public hospitals as they fear that they may be arrested or put in danger.

In addition to this, the Syrian governments’ intelligence forces and army turned approx 1000 schools into detention and torture centres as the regular central prisons could not accommodate the large numbers of detainees which exceeded 194 thousand, all of whom were detained arbitrarily.  Some schools were turned into security centres in which security and intelligence men resided and shelled the surrounding area neighbourhood from.

Videos documenting the Syrian governments’ violations towards schools and their conversion into security headquarters, such as Al Sabeel neighbourhood’s school in Hama city which was turned into a military barrack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbGaJX47lPY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIdMCdW1Vlo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg3yFLIhcng

The same scenario occurred in Karm Al Zaitoon neighbourhood’s school in Homs which was also turned into a military barrack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma80uV_56XQ

Syrian army soldiers dancing inside Al Farabi school in Bab Al Sba’a neighbourhood, Homs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNCMECXaEE

The network also documented the deaths of more than 85 teachers, including primary and secondary school teachers. With regard to the school cadres, more than 640 people were killed, in addition to the detention of approx 1300 from the school cadres including teachers, supervisors, and workers. The following link shows the names and videos of teachers which the network was able to document.
http://syrianhr.org/Upload/savefiles/teacher.xlsx

The targeting and destruction of schools by the Syrian governments forces and army, and the killing of school teachers, had a very negative impact on the students, this was evident when a few students held a banner in Daraa with the message “Basher Al Assad: who killed my teacher?”. This also resulted in a large gap in the teaching and education infrastructure and prevented thousands of students from going to schools as they were afraid for their lives from the shelling. Therefore, as a result of these immoral and illegitimate actions, many students were delayed a whole year of education.

Another fact which prevented students from resuming their studies is the danger of being kidnapped by the regime, which was a common incident and occurred in many areas, especially in areas which are populated by different sects to create tension between Syrians. The regimes thugs were also kidnapping civilians to blackmail and pressurise their families and to demand money for their release. 

In addition to this, the free Syrian army has used a few of the schools as a place of residance in the areas which they are in control of. This was only done after the end of the academic year; however this does not justify the use of schools, an alternative solution maybe building temporary homes.  This is because this action is a violation of the international norms and constitutions and we demand the free Syrian army to evacuate the schools immediately and to allow them to be repaired in order for school life to return to normal.

We refer in this context to a massacre documented previously by the Syrian network for human rights which occurred in Al Ra’eda school, this massacre was amongst many massacres which took place in schools. It was located in Al Dar Al Kabira area and was shelled purposely and was targeted by the Syrian governments forces as may displaced civilians resided in the school which is an atrocious crime against humanity.
A whole family was killed immediately and approx 140 people were injured within seconds.

Victims of Al Ra’eda school massacre:

1. Mother of Nidal and Wafaa Tirkawi
2. Nidal Omar Tirkawi
http://youtu.be/jrywoW-syI8
http://youtu.be/QRrWO72NPeg
3. wafaa Tirkawi – child
http://youtu.be/jrywoW-syI8
http://youtu.be/kGlkxvJ8rHs
4. a martyr whose name is not known 
http://youtu.be/0JGlvsZkPIQ

 

Aleppo province:

A school in Al Bab in Aleppo is completely destroyed due to indiscriminate shelling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u8PBjhq_VA

Aleppo city: Al Marje neighbourhood, aircraft shelling by the Syrian governments forces targeted Al Sina’a School
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4N3YJKQh8o 

Shelling of Khalid ibn Al Walid school in Al Sfera town, Rural Aleppo on 19-12-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3wC-NSwz8Q

Place of incident: Aleppo
Date: 10-2012
Description: shelling of Bayanoun school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epzqK3qSi4I

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Sakhoor
Date: 4-10-2012
Description: shelling of Gaza school 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1tsVRfBXCg

Place of incident: Aleppo, Dier Hafer
Date: 11-2012
Description: shelling of a school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnXk6anrI3s

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Firdaws
Date: 4-9-2012
Description: shelling of Al Walid Bin Abdul Malik School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjS7cPmiOYA

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Sheikh Khedr
Date: 5-8-2012
Description: shelling of Majdal Shams School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FYcoJMXst8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90xI_TotP5M

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Halak
Date: 5-8-2012
Description: shelling of Al Halak neighbourhood school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo36m7bFFDs

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Sakhour
Date: 27-7-2012
Description: shelling of Seif Mahmoud School by the army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjEUrCSsobo

Place of incident: Aleppo, Treeq Al Bab
Date: 21-12-2012
Description: shelling of Al Kifah School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C32KPapJXsQ

Place of incident: Aleppo, Al Atareb
Date: 19-2-2012
Description: shelling of a school in Al Atareb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOxPns88Pv0

Place of incident: Aleppo
Date: 12-10-2012
Description: shelling of Al Intharat school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_50_7itjN1w
and Al Zira’a school on 22-9-2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxSADVDi–I

Place of incident: Aleppo, Hanano residence
Date: 10-8-2012
Description: shelling of Mohammad Qassar School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta8bIp1SYnU

 

Deir Al Zor Province:

The shelling of Burhan Al Deen school by the Syrian army’s forces in Deir Al Zor 
Date: 23-11-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZx6A-g3VEU

The shelling of Al Sina’a school by the Syrian governments aircraft in Al Busaira,  Deir Al Zor 
Date: 16-10-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAw49tQQ-_A

The shelling of Al Zabari town’s school in Deir Al Zor by the Syrian governments forces 
Date: 4-7-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1yq0I4qNCM

 

Damascus Province:

Targeting Amal Al Oruba School by the Syrian army’s forces in Qatana, Damascus.
Date: 20-11-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSjxcnU-J_8

Rural Damascus: the shelling of A’in Tarma on 4-9-2012 by the Syrian army’s forces, which caused the widespread destruction of Mohammad Salem Salam School
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8iQEHtJvwc

Place of incident: Rural Damascus, Saqaba
Date: 2-9-2012
Description: shelling of a school in Saqaba Al Balad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T8hasMLGLc

 

Idlib province:

Shelling of Al Tijara School in Ma’arat Al No’man, Idlib, by the Syrian army’s aircraft
Date: 30-10-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qz07VsIDNc

Saraqeb:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaEv3TRUb3Q

Place of incident: Idlib, Babila
Date: 22-7-2012
Description: shelling of a school by the Syrian ary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWyN5Ip8ke8

 

Homs province:

The shelling of a school in Al Rastan, Homs
Date: 11-3-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkQ4Ou1Li10

Al Ghasasiya School, Homs:
http://youtu.be/6wak4gQ9TRM
http://youtu.be/UrsfRK5Ld6k
http://youtu.be/KJHMXZNbYzM

Ishbilya School, Homs:
http://youtu.be/5tDyZlUvVx0

Mohammad Tayyeb  Shreek school, Homs
http://youtu.be/d7JkwokWt-A

The shelling of Hamza school, which is situated in Deir B’alba neighbourhood in Homs with artillery which belongs to the Syrian army’s forces
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUuVFn6gDJM

Place on incident: Homs, Al Qusoor
Date: 10-8-2012
Description: shelling of Khadija Al Kubra School 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S3_aU6Jg6Q

Place of incident: Homs, Al Qadima
Date: 5-7-2012
Description: sheling of Wasfi Qurunfuli School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEl1ROE-Q8s

Place of incident: Homs, Deir Ba’alba
Date: 5-4-2012
Description: shelling of Hamza School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUuVFn6gDJM

Place: Homs, Talbiseh
Date: 29-3-2012
Description: shelling of Tala’e school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUuVFn6gDJM

Place of incident: Homs, Karam Al Zaitoon
Date: 6-3-2012
Description: a school is turned into a military barrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyE0arGPeUw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma80uV_56XQ

Place: Homs Bad Al Sba’a
Date: –
Description: the occupation of a school by the Syrian army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNCMECXaEE

Place: Homs Bab Al Dreeb
Date: 31-1-2012
Description: the burning of Al Mathna School due to shelling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoLx51DwpwA

Place of incident: Homs, Al Houla
Date: 24-11-2012
Description: shelling of Musa Bakour School with artillery 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xlDxzkBCE0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiqq6q5Wgqc

Place: Homs, Baba Amro
Date: 5-11-2012
Description: occupation of a school by the Syrian army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2RWc1XZ12Y

Place: Homs, Baba Amro
Date: 29-10-2012
Description: shelling of Um Aisha Um Al Mo’meneen School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiHXkb1tEhg

Place of incident: Homs, Al Bayada
Date: 27-9-2012
Description: shelling of Tala’e Teshreen School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcE2aDeobvI

 

Hama province:

Shelling of Al Tremseh town, Hama by the Syrian army’s artillery and the destruction of a section of its school
Date: 16-07-2012
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8QnUrtuho0

Place on incident: Hama, Al Hamidiya
Date: 8-3-2012
Description: Yusuf Al Athma School was burned by the security forces 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXC6y-kdQts

Place of incident: Hama
Date: 9-2-2012
Description: the occupation of Naseh Olwan School by thugs

Place of incident: Hama
Date: 15-12-2012
Description: shelling of Al Sina’a School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh87W92j-ss

Place of incident: Hama, Al Qusoor
Date: 1-9-2012
Description: occupation of Al Qusoor School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e9pntRjqOE

Place of incident: Hama
Date: –
Description: the burning of Othman Al Horani School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw7onBsS7HU

Place of incident: Hama
Date: 21-8-2012
Description: vandalising Khalid Mamish School by the security forces
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rDOvQdEKnY

Place of incident: Hama, Al Sabeel
Date: 4-5-2012
Description: the use of a school as a military barrack to shoot civilians with snipers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbGaJX47lPY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIdMCdW1Vlo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBWRjzgi5ZE

 

Daraa province:

Place of incident: Daraa, Al Mahatta
Date: 25-4-2012
Description: the destruction of a school by the security forces
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz5gk3OUoS0

Place of incident: Daraa, Al Naima
Date: 20-12-2012
Description: shelling of a school by the army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH92gLu2icI

Place of incident: Daraa, Alaja
Date: 3-9-2012
Description: shelling of Al Zabayer school
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3X2maf7M4

 

Lattakia province: 

Place of incident: Lattakia 
Date: 6-8-2012
Description: Jawl School turned into a military barrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqpbxDlexTk

 

The Syrian network for human rights condemns the systematic attack on schools and school cadres which is committed by the Syrian governments’ forces. The Syrian government is totally responsible for shelling, killing and destroying in Syria and the consequences of these actions.
The Syrian network for human rights demands the international human rights organisations to take action and to interfere immediately to stop the human rights violations in Syria, which are contrary to all the agreed international charters and conventions. and we demand the UNESCO, the organisation which specialises in education and culture to pressurise the Syrian government firmly and to issue a statement regarding this issue, we also demand this organisation to protect and provide care for Syrian students and to set up projects to start rebuilding and repairing schools which were destroyed by the tanks and airplanes which belong to the Syrian government.

The Syrian network for human rights believes that the Syrian government with  all its figures, including the commander chief of the army and armed forces, Bashar Al Assad holds the total legal, economic and psychological repercussions of all acts of destruction and sabotage. The international community also holds moral and legal and responsibility for its lack of action in finding a solution to protect the Syrian civilians and their homes, villages and cities, and their inability to provide secure shelters for refugees inside the Syrian territory, who are the largest in numbers and are living in the most difficult conditions. 

Syrian Network for Human Rights – London
Website: www.syrianhr.org
Email: press@syrianhr.org
Skype: Syrianhr