Russian bombing of Syria
Yesterday morning another hospital run by Doctors Without Borders was hit. Western countries coalition accuse Russia of indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and to use "dumb bombs". Moscow denies. Who tells the truth?
- Tuesday, 16 February 2016
When the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has made it clear to the Monaco conference that Russia must stop bombing civilians in Syria, his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev responded in the only way possible. With a shrug of the eyebrow. The next day was the US President Obama to ask again in Moscow of simply throwing their bombs only in ISIL.
In response, yesterday morning a Russian bomb has hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Maarrat to Numan, in northern Syria. And there is even a suspicion that this was a targeted goal and not an error.
Russia is in fact accused by many of indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and to make use of "dumb" bombs and cluster. In a recent press conference, the spokesman for the Russian military,Igor Konashenkov, said the air force has no stockpiles of cluster bomb in Syria. "Our aircraft do not use them nor there are such weapons at the Russian air base in Syria," he said.
The collective of investigative citizen journalism Bellingcat published pictures taken from leading Russian media, like RT and Sputnik, and even the site of the Russian Defense Ministry, showing RBK series cluster bombs at the Hmeymim Russian airbase in Latakia.
And Human Rights Watch published a report in which he accused the Russian-Syrian coalition had used cluster bombs in at least 14 attacks since January 26, killing at least 37 civilians, including six women and nine children.
Since the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2014, more than a thousand civilians dead according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The London-based organization estimates the death toll at 1,015, adding that 238 of those killed were children. It does not include 40 deaths in the hospital bombing yesterday. On the other hand, at least 1,141 fighters had been killed, including fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. That make an impressive 1-to-1 ratio.
Americans in recent weeks have accused Russia of using old and inaccurate weapons, "stupid" compared to those used by the coalition. It is not a good competition, because there is no a better bomb, but the figures reported by human rights organizations do leave little space to excuses.
In an attempt to justify by accusing someone else, the Russian army spokesman Konashenkov said a few days ago that the US bombed civilians in Aleppo. "Yesterdaytwo A-10 attack aircraft of the U.S. Air Force entered the Syrian air space from the territory of Turkey and reaching Aleppo made strikes against objects in the city," he said during a press conference on 11 February. But the witnesses on the field cited by Bellingcat haven’t reported any airstrike on Aleppo on that day.
After all, truth is the first victim of the war.