Report: Syrian Commanders Authorized ‘Shoot to Kill’ on Protesters

Report Cites Comments From Defectors

A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that commanders within the Syrian military ordered soldiers to use “all means necessary” to stop pro-democracy protesters in the streets.

The report cites dozens of defectors who spokes with the rights group and say they understood the order to be a call to “shoot to kill” the protesters. HRW says the orders came from the highest level of Syria’s military.

The report, called “By All Means Necessary!” also documents a number of cases of torture of political prisoners and reports of summary executions of some of the detainees while in official custody.

During an interview with ABC News last week, Syrian President Assad denied that he had any role in violence against civilian protesters, saying that there was never a policy within his office for such a crackdown and that they were “mistakes committed by some officials” in the military.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.