Russian military action in Syria can be described as war crimes – the UN Commission

The actions of the Russian military, as well as Syrian government forces during the armed conflict in the country can be regarded as war crimes. This is stated in the report of the UN Commission on investigation of events in Syria covering the period from December 2019 to June 2020. Report of the 7 July were published on the website of the UN Council on human rights.

In particular, the UN observers indicate that during the campaign to capture Idlib and Western Aleppo, “Syrian government forces along with Russian military space forces carried out air and ground attacks that destroyed civilian infrastructure, devastated cities and villages and claimed the lives of hundreds of Syrian women, men and children.”

“Many hospitals, schools, markets and homes were destroyed by air and ground attacks,” the report says.

The UN Commission notes that in the course of these attacks used cluster munitions that may amount to war crimes.

The report also says that the actions that can be regarded as war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed by all parties to the conflict.

“It’s shocking that after more than nine years, civilians continue to be subjected to indiscriminate attacks. Children are bombarded in school, parents shelled on the market, patients shelled in the hospital, whole families have been bombed even during flight. It is quite clear that Pro-government forces and the terrorists grossly violated the laws of war and the rights of the Syrian civilian population”, – said the Chairman of the Commission, Paulo Pinheiro.

The Commission’s report, published in early March this year, said that the Russian aircraft at least two times took part in the bombing, which could be regarded as a war crime (it was about indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas).

The military conflict in Syria lasts since 2011. In the fighting at different times was attended by Syrian government troops, insurgents, radical Islamists, the Kurds, militants of the “Islamic state”, as well as the armed forces of the Russian Federation, USA, Iran and Turkey.

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