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Amnesty accuses Russian Federation of committing war crimes in Syria

Assessments of six Russian attacks showed that airstrikes damaged or destroyed dozens of civilian sites including a mosque, a market, medical facilities and homes, it said. Eye witness accounts and the Russian military’s own briefings provide strong evidence to suggest Russia was responsible.

David Cenciotti, who runs The Aviationist website, said Russia’s Su-24 and 25 bombers have made “significant use of unguided fragmentation bombs…”

Cluster bombs are munitions that contain deadly material. “Because of this, we will not only continue with our strikes, but increase their intensity”.

The Russian authorities have claimed that their armed forces are only striking “terrorist” targets and have not publicly acknowledged that they have caused any civilian deaths and injuries and have dismissed some such claims as part of an “information war”.

But human rights group say the pattern of attacks suggests Russian Federation is flouting worldwide humanitarian law and that it may even amount to war crimes.

“The SG notes with concern Amnesty Int report on alleged violations of global humanitarian law resulting of the Russian airstrikes in Syria“.

The deputy spokesman relayed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s concern with the human rights group’s report, but said the United Nations could not independently confirm the incidents presented in it.

Amnesty officials say they interviewed survivors of the attacks and reviewed photos and videos of the immediate aftermath.

“Such attacks may amount to war crimes”, he added.

On Sunday, airstrikes believed to be Russian on the northwestern city of Idlib killed at least 32 people, among them many civilians, according to opposition activists. The strike hit residential buildings in Darat Izza, Aleppo, on October 7, it claimed. “I asked her “What is wrong?’, and she said: ‘My husband and three children were killed”.

“Of course nobody would say that it is not hard in Syria’s circumstances to carry out such an [impartial] investigation, particularly since these areas, the targets of Russia’s attacks are of course under the control of rebel and in many cases extremist Islamist groups, which of course very much restricts what local members of the public are allowed to say”, Shoebridge explained. It also reviewed statements published by the Russian Ministry of Defence and relevant articles in Russian and other media. Amnesty called on Russian Federation to “end indiscriminate and proportionate attacks” and comply with global law. “But they could not know it, nor could they verify it. What is known is that Jihadists operate in Syria as highly-mobile forces which used the infamous Toyota pickup trucks with mounted large-caliber weapons”, Konashenkov said.

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