Russia Accused of Committing War Crimes in Syria
Amnesty International says hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed by Russian air raids, some of which could constitute war crimes.
Amnesty International said on Wednesday Russian air raids have killed hundreds of civilians in Syria, many in targeted strikes that could constitute war crimes, since beginning nearly three months ago.
Some attacks “appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians,” Amnesty Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said in a statement.
“Such attacks may amount to war crimes,” he said, adding that it “is crucial that suspected violations are independently and impartially investigated.”
The London-based rights group said there is “evidence suggesting that Russian authorities may have lied to cover up civilian damage to a mosque from one air strike and a field hospital in another.”
There is also “evidence suggesting Russia’s use of internationally banned cluster munitions and of unguided bombs in populated residential areas.”
The report focuses on attacks in Homs, Idlib and Aleppo provinces between September and November, which killed at least 200 civilians and around a dozen fighters, the group said.
Amnesty noted that Russian authorities “have claimed that their armed forces are only striking ‘terrorist’ targets. After some attacks, they have responded to reports of civilian deaths, by denying they killed civilians; after others, they have simply stayed silent.”
In one of the deadliest incidents, Amnesty said three missiles were fired at a busy market in the Idlib locality of Ariha, killing 49 civilians.
Witnesses described how the bustling Sunday
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