Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for lifting the siege imposed on Derna and to spare the civilians from the hostilities, urging all parties to comply with the rules of war and to avoid targeting civilians and the infrastructure of the city.
"The fighting zone has expanded to the eastern part of the city and included ground attacks and air raids, in which most of them were carried out at night," the HRW explained in a report issued on its website Monday.
The human rights group noted that the commander of Dignity Operation Khalifa Haftar has said on May 3 that he had issued strict instructions not to target civilians; however, his orders did not prevent his forces from inflicting significant casualties on civilians and mistreating them.
The report pointed out that Dignity Operation forces have set up checkpoints, which severely limited the ability of civilians to leave and enter the city, not to mention the thousands of families who were denied to have access to their homes since 2014 on allegations of supporting terrorism.
“The laws of war require all parties to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid and humanitarian workers to affected civilians, including areas under siege such as Derna.” The HRW stated.