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Amnesty accuses Moscow, Damascus of ‘war crimes’ in Syria

Amnesty accuses Moscow, Damascus of ‘war crimes’ in Syria

Amnesty International, the rights group, insists that Moscow and Damascus are responsible for at least 18 war crimes committed in Syria, TRT World reported.

Eighteen attacks on medical facilities and schools, well-documented by the activists, could prove that Russian and Syrian forces have violated the human rights of Syrian people. All those attacks were carried out in northwestern Syria in less than a year, Amnesty International said on Monday.

Those attacks are just ‘war crimes’, the AI experts suggests. Russia-backed regime forces have since late April 2019 waged two deadly military campaigns against Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib, which has become home for some three million people.

A ceasefire has largely held since early March, but hundreds of thousands remain displaced and highly dependent on aid even as the opposition-dominated region braces for a possible outbreak of the novel infection originated in China.

According to the AI report, 18 attacks on medical facilities and schools by either Damascus or its Russian ally between May 5, 2019 and February 25, 2020 in and adjoining the opposition stronghold.

“Evidence shows that, in their entirety, the documented attacks by Syrian and Russian government forces entailed a myriad of serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report reads.

The activists strongly believe these violations amount to war crimes. Among 18 attacks, three ground attacks and two barrel bomb attacks by Assad regime forces, as well as air strikes by both or either side.

It said the majority occurred in January and February 2020, during the latest onslaught which from December has killed around 500 civilians and displaced almost a million people.

“Russia has continued to provide invaluable military support — including by directly carrying out unlawful air strikes — despite evidence that it is facilitating the Syrian military’s commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Amnesty reports says.

The internal armed conflict that started in Syria in 2011, has killed more than 380,000 people. According to the UNHCR, the war displaced millions of Syrians.