Rape a 'Weapon of War' in Syria
And a main reason people are fleeing the country, activist group says
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 14, 2013 7:32 AM CST
A Syrian refugee woman walks with her two kids at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

(Newser) – Rape is "a significant and disturbing feature of the Syrian civil war," and a major reason refugees are fleeing the country, according to a report released today by a US-based activist group. The International Rescue Committee interviewed refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and found that many identified rape as the main reason they left Syria, the AFP reports. The group also heard reports of women being kidnapped, tortured, and killed.

"Many women and girls relayed accounts of being attacked in public or in their homes, primarily by armed men," the report said. "These rapes, sometimes by multiple perpetrators, often occur in front of family members." These women then fled because they feared retribution from their attackers, or from "shamed" family members, but the group warns that refugee camps themselves are "unsafe" and hotbeds of domestic violence. The conflict has now sent more than 600,000 refugees into neighboring countries.

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
right2dave
Jan 14, 2013 5:01 PM CST
Too bad many men have to treat women inhumane.
fractal
Jan 14, 2013 2:24 PM CST
Disgusting. If these women know what is good for them, they will start strangling new born boys as they come out of their loins, and just start over with a society full of women. If men cannot control their urge toward violence against women, why bother nurturing them at all?
AlexanderArgentina
Jan 14, 2013 11:00 AM CST
Terrorists Eliminated, Their Cars and Dens Targeted in Various Areas A unit of the Armed Forces on Sunday foiled an attempt to detonate two cars loaded with explosives near Tamer Bridge in Daraa countryside. An official source in the province told SANA reporter that members of the Armed Forces confronted an armed terrorist group's attempt to drive two booby-trapped cars to the bridge in order to detonate it. The source added that members of the armed terrorist group were killed and injured, while the two cars were destroyed before reaching the bridge. Two Vehicles Carrying Weapons and Ammunition Destroyed in Aleppo Meanwhile, a unit of the Armed Forces targeted a hideout for terrorists in al-Lairamoun area in Aleppo city, destroying a vehicle equipped with a heavy machinegun and killing all the terrorists inside it. A truck carrying weapons and ammunition was also destroyed in the operation. An official source told SANA reporter that the operation resulted in killing and injuring many terrorists. Terrorists Killed, Their Cars, Arms Destroyed in Deir Ezzor A unit of the Armed Forces killed a number of terrorists in Abu Khashab area in Deir Ezzor and destroyed a group of their cars, including all the weapons, ammunition and terrorists inside them. An official source in the province told SANA reporter that heavy losses were inflicted upon terrorists who were looting the wheat storage buildings and attacking the oil pipelines in the area. Armed Forces Dismantle Explosive Devices, Eliminate Terrorists in Aleppo A unit of the Armed Forces foiled a terrorists' attempt to detonate a number of explosive devices outside al-Dweirineh Hospital in Aleppo countryside. An official source told SANA reporter that 6 explosive devices weighing between 30 kilograms to 80 kilograms planted by terrorists outside the hospital were dismantled. The source added that another unit of the Armed Forces eliminated a number of terrorists outside the cotton ginnery in the area. Meanwhile, the authorities concerned arrested 8 terrorists on Aleppo-Raqqa Highway. The Armed Forces continued operations against the armed terrorist groups in Aleppo and its countryside, killing scores of them and destroying several of their hideouts and gatherings. An official source told SANA reporter that an army unit targeted terrorists' hideouts in the areas of al-Neirab, Mir'anaz, Qarasi and on Aleppo-Damascus highway in Aleppo countryside. In Aleppo city, the Armed Forces destroyed terrorists' hideouts in the areas of al-Kallaseh, al-Sukkari, Bab al-Neirab and Bani Zaid, killing and injuring scores of terrorists and destroying their vehicles. Army Units Pursue Terrorists in Damascus Countryside Army units inflicted heavy losses upon the armed terrorist groups in Douma Farms, Daraya and al-Maliha areas in Damascus countryside. An official source told SANA that army units eliminated members of an armed terrorist group in Douma Farms, including theorists Maher al-Bisoni, Suhaib al-Kashef, Mohammad Taha, Said al-Baltaji and Bader Jamoul, adding that the army units destroyed three cars. The source pointed out that a weapons cache was destroyed and snipers were eliminated in Daraya. In al-Maliha, the Armed Forces clashed with an armed terrorist group. The clashes resulted in eliminating all members of the armed terrorist group, including terrorists Mohammad al-Khalaf, Jihad Mosa and Khamis Lafy. An official source told SANA reporter in Damascus Countryside that an army unit eliminated scores of terrorists in Yalda and destroyed a terrorists' hideouts with its weapons and ammunition. The source added that another unit destroyed a vehicle loaded with terrorists near Khaled Bin al-Walid Mosque in al-Bahdalyeh. The source underlined that a unit of the Armed Forces eliminated an armed terrorist group in al-Huseinyeh, adding that terrorist Ahmad Mohammad was identified among the dead. Terrorists Killed, Weapons Seized in Hama The Armed Forces carried out a qualitative operation in Taibat al-Imam village in Hama, killing scores of terrorists and seizing their weapons and ammunition. A military source told SANA that the army also arrested a number of terrorists and dismantled 12 explosive devices planted by terrorists groups in the area. Terrorists' Hideouts, Gatherings Destroyed in Homs A unit of the Armed Forces clashed with an armed terrorists group in al-Bouida town in al-Qseir countryside and eliminated dozens of its members. A source in Homs province told SANA reporter that a number of terrorists' vehicles were destroyed during the operation, adding that terrorists Majed al-Shihri and Hassan Bakkar were identified among the dead. Another army unit destroyed terrorists' gatherings and hideouts in al-Ghajar town in al-Rastan countryside and seized a factory for manufacturing explosive devices in the area. One Terrorist Killed, Two Others Injured in Explosive Device Blast A terrorist was killed and two others were injured in explosion of a terrorists den was taken by the terrorists for manufacturing improvised explosive devices in Rukn al-Din neighborhood in Damascus. An official source told SANA reporter that the explosion occurred during the preparation of a number of improvised explosive devices to be used by the terrorists in their criminal operations. Lavrov Stresses Need to Continue Work with All Syrian Sides to Solve Crisis in Syria Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the necessity of continuing work with all Syrian sides to solve the crisis in Syria. "No substitute to continue the work with all Syrian sides for an immediate halt of the acts of violence and starting a Syrian dialogue without precondition to settle the most urgent issues on the national agenda," Lavrov said in a phone call with his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawaw, posted by Russia Today website on Monday . The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the phone call also dealt with prospects of enhancing bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on international issues, particularly the situation in Syria and means of finding political and diplomatic solution to the crisis in it.