The human rights activist and member of the “Human Rights Organization – Afrin”, Heyhan Ali said that their organization visited the base of the Russian Military Police in the village of al-Wahshiya, in northern Aleppo countryside, and discussed Tal Rifaat massacre.
Activist Heyhan Ali told North-Press that they have discussed with the Russian military generals and officials the issue of the deliberate and repeated shelling by the Turkish military and the Turkish-backed Syrian armed opposition groups on areas of northern Aleppo countryside, particularly on the town of Tal Rifaat. Heyhan Ali said: "We have handed over files that document the victims of Tal Rifaat massacre, which took place on the second of this month.”
Regarding the Russian side's response, Ms. Ali stressed that the Russian officials expressed their concern and regret over Tal Rifaat massacre, visited the hospital, documented the victims and listened to witnesses from the wounded civilians, in addition, they visited the location of the bombing, documented the massacre and submitted a report to the Russian Command at Hmeimim base, in Latakia’s countryside.
Ali added that they have called on the Russian state to fulfill its duties to protect the local people, as it is the main guarantor of stopping the military operations in the region; however, the Russian side has reservations about the response, and it merely stated that the solution lies through diplomatic means between the Turkish and Syrian sides.
She added that they are documenting all violations against civilians in the region, and providing contacts with the fact-finding committees in Geneva to document them, and communicate with the families of the victims. She also stressed that violations should not be turned into numbers and statistics in reports, but that the United Nations should activate its decisions and open international courts to hold war crimes perpetrators accountable, and not just issue statements of condemnation.
The Turkish military and its affiliated armed opposition groups on the 2nd of December bombed one of the main streets in the town of Tal Rifaat, killing 10 civilians, including 8 children, and wounding 13 other civilians.