Rights Group: Russia Killed Thousands of Civilians Since Start of Aggression against Syria
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Russian forces have killed no fewer than 6,239 civilians since the start of its direct military intervention in Syria on September 30, 2015. The rights group cited testimonies and eyewitness accounts confirming that Russia committed war crimes alongside the Assad regime forces. It also said that since the conflict began in 2011, Russia has used its veto power 12 times on the UN Security Council, including six times to block draft resolutions on the use of chemical weapons.
The Network said that it had compiled a list of the names of 6,239 civilians who were killed in the Russian bombing campaign, including 1,804 children. It noted that the majority of deaths occurred in the first two years of the Russian intervention and in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Deir Ezzor. The report indicated that the Russian forces have committed no fewer than 321 massacres since Sep 30, 2015. It also noted that it had recorded at least 954 Russian attacks on vital civilian centers, including 176 on schools, 166 on healthcare facilities, and 55 on popular markets since the beginning of the Russian aggression.
The report indicated that Russia has been aiding the Assad regime in the killing of Syrian civilians since the beginning of its aggression using various types of weapons, including internationally prohibited ones. It also said these attacks are part of a policy that is aimed at causing mass destruction, especially in populated areas. It pointed out that the Russian bombings had no military justification as required by the law of war and forced civilians out of their homes as part of a policy of mass forced displacement and demographic change.
Likewise, the, the latest report by the White Helmets rescue group indicated that it had carried out rescue operations in dozens of sites that were targeted by the Assad regime and Russian forces since 2015. According to the report, these attacks have targeted 19 schools, 12 public markets, 21 civil defense centers, and 20 healthcare facilities over the past three years.
The SNHR rights group said that Russia had blatantly violated UN Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 calling for a halt to indiscriminate attacks and the deliberate killings of civilians. It stressed that these attacks constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity that are punishable under international law, calling on the UN Security Council to launch serious investigation into these crimes and punish their perpetrators. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)