More Crimes in War

Destruction of what you like
Rahman Mohamed

The Roman Statute is a relatively new law.  Prior to 1 July 2002 it circulated as a document; on July 1 it entered into force.

Section 2, Article 8 (e)(i) states it’s criminal to target attacks at civilians.  Section 2, Article 8 (e)(iv) says not to direct attacks against buildings of religion, history, education, historic monuments, hospitals where the sick are housed and other such places unless they’re military objectives.  But there are times when this must be done in war.  And there are times when it is done.

Today this is being done in the Syrian war.  According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Syria has 6 world heritage sites.

The United Nations has placed all 6 on its endangered list – endangered of being destroyed. These don’t just include the Ancient Cities of Aleppo, Bosra, Damascus, and Northern Syria; there’s the Site of Palmyra – “An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus” that has art and architecture from the 1st and 2nd century that’s been on UNESCO’s world heritage site for over 30 years, and Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din

two castles [that] represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades (11th – 13th centuries).

On top of that there are 11 sites in Syria that have been on UNESCO’s tentative list for over 10 years.

In a news release on June 20 the UN placed all 6 on it’s endangered list, saying

“The danger listing is intended to mobilize all possible support for the safeguarding of these properties, which are recognized by the international community as being of outstanding universal value for humanity as a whole,”

Although CBC reported that Barack Obama “says he’s considering a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria’s government carried out” on August 30, with Syria facing an imminent threat from the United States and its allies including France, the Roman Statute is at a greater risk of being broken.

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