President Khoja calls on the international community to condemn the Russian aggression on Syria inflicting many casualties among the civilian population, killing over 60 people including women and children.
In a letter addressed to the president of the UN Security Council, the Spanish Ambassador Roman Oyarzun, Khoja calls for taking immediate action to stop Russia’s brutal air raids on Damascus, Homs, and Hama, where civilian homes, hospitals, and mosques are destroyed by these attacks.
“Under the false pretence of engaging in counter-terrorism operations, Russian forces indiscriminately bombed civilian areas, killing innocent men, women and children,” Khoja said.
He added that “these indiscriminate aerial attacks are part of an overt and calculated attempt by Russian forces to aid and abet the Syrian regime’s war on civilians. They are designed not to counter terrorist extremist groups like ISIS, but to support the Assad regime’s indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.”
“By involving itself so directly in the killing of innocent Syrians, Russia makes itself a direct party to the Syrian conflict and risks implicating itself in war crimes. Russia’s actions violate not only the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War but also the Security Council resolution 2139, which demands that all parties to the conflict distinguish between civilian populations and combatants and refrain from indiscriminate attacks and attacks on civilians.”
The letter went on: “Russia’s actions will have consequences-not merely for Russians inside Syria, but for the fight against ISIS. Russian forces’ indiscriminate slaughter of civilians will fuel extremism and exacerbate the refugee crisis. Like Assad’s barrel bombs, Russia’s unwanted invasion will serve as a recruiting tool for ISIS and will make Syria-and the world-less safe.”
“On behalf of the people of Syria, I appeal to Member States of the Security Council to work with urgency to condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s illegal military aggression in Syria and pursue all means necessary to stop the indiscriminate aerial bombardment in Syria, including through the enforcement of a ban on aerial bombardment: a no-bombing zone. If Russia-as party to the conflict-will not allow the Security Council to act, Member States must themselves ensure the protection of civilians.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)