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Amnesty: Russia airstrikes killed 200 civilians in Syria

The London-based rights group on Wednesday issued a damning report which said that Russian raids have killed hundreds of civilians since start of the campaign on September 30, many in targeted strikes which could constitute war crimes.

The Kremlin has previously described similar reports as “information warfare” aimed at discrediting its operations in Syria. And there’s some doubt among Western analysts about the accuracy of their targeting.

Amnesty International claims there were no military objectives or militants in the areas of “suspected Russian attacks”, Konashenkov said. “‘Terrible waves of indiscriminate attacks” Speaking to the Independent upon the release of its report, Amnesty said its research suggested Russia’s role in Syria had gone from “callous to catastrophic”. As a result of the attacks, at least 200 civilians killed compared to a dozen fighters, the report stated. “Su-24s were also seen dropping RBK 500 cluster bombs”.

It obtained and reviewed audiovisual imagery relating to all these attacks or their aftermath, and commissioned advice from weapons experts on munitions visible in them.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said he saw “nothing specific and nothing new” in the report. But Amnesty International said it was a different building from the one destroyed in the raid.

In reference to Russia’s alleged responsibility for Sunday’s deadly strikes in Idlib, a senior State Department official said it was not for the USA or the US coalition to investigate claims of collateral damage by Russian aircraft.

When asked Monday about allegations that Russia is using cluster bombs, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian military in Syria operates in line with worldwide law.

The war in Syria which began almost five years ago has now cost more than a quarter of a million lives and displaced millions of people.

A local first responder told Amnesty that the nearest rebel military base was 300 metres (yards) away from the site where the bomb hit.

He added: “I would like to note that these are by far not all of our capabilities”. We have additional capabilities. Russia’s armed forces have also deployed long-range bombers from Russian Federation, sea-launched cruise missiles and, according to military analysts, combat helicopters, tanks, artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems. A mother and her two children were killed in one house and a young couple in another house.

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