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Assad regime killed over 5,200 people in Homs hospital, documents show

A picture taken on June 6, 2013 shows the remains of a rebel field hospital in Qusayr in Syria's central Homs province [AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on June 6, 2013 shows the remains of a rebel field hospital in Qusayr in Syria's central Homs province [AFP via Getty Images]

New documents have revealed the killing of over 5,200 people in a hospital in the Syrian city of Homs at the hands of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, in what is the latest evidence of possible war crimes.

In a news conference in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) presented documents showing the regime's killing of 5,210 civilians in the Abdul Qader Al-Shaqfa Hospital in Homs's Al-Waer district.

According to the Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency, the SOC's President Nasr Al-Hariri stated that the documents were issued by the Assad regime, due to the fact that they are marked by stamps of the security services, forensic medicine, and the hospital's administration.

They were reportedly leaked by someone who used to work at the hospital but now lives in opposition-held areas.

It has not been detailed when exactly the killings took place or what methods were used to kill people, but based on the regime's historical activities, it is assumed that torture was used on the victims.

READ: 14,400 people tortured to death in Syria

Two years ago, it was revealed how the security services tortured over 6,000 people to death in the Al-Mezzeh 601 military hospital near the capital Damascus within a period of 21 months, earning it the name the "slaughterhouse".

Last year it was also reported that a Syrian doctor who worked in a military hospital in Homs – before fleeing to Germany as a refugee while keeping ties with the regime – was found to have engaged in torturing and killing numerous patients who were brought to him and other doctors.

Methods reportedly included the withholding of medication, shooting parts of the body and leaving wounds untreated, and burning a victim's penis by dousing it in alcohol and lighting it on fire.

In the United Nations' tenth report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic in 2013, the Abdul Qader Al-Shaqfa Hospital was listed as a hospital used by the Syrian military as a base to suppress protests and fight against the opposition.

SOC President Al-Hariri stated that the organisation will be seeking to work with the UN, its Human Rights Council, the European Union, United States, and the United Kingdom in order to hold the regime accountable and continue establishing evidence of its war crimes.

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