UN: Russia behind deadly airstrike in Syria

Russia is not an arbiter for peace in Syria or the Middle East and it makes that fact more evident with each action it takes.

The United Nations is now investigating Russia over an attack it is alleged to have carried out in Syria in November.

War Crimes.

United Nations war crimes investigators said on Tuesday that it believes a Russian aircraft was behind an attack on a marketplace in the Idlib province of Syria, Fox News reported.

It marks the first time that civilian deaths have been directly blamed on Russia.

The report said the attack, with unguided weapons, “may account to a war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks resulting in death and injury to civilians.”

Signs Point To Russia.

Russia denies that it attacked civilians and insists that it has only attacked military targets.

It claims that it verifies targets via several intelligence assets and have never hit civilians, but the report, created under a current mandate from the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council, disagrees.

“All information available indicates that a Russian fixed-wing aircraft that took off from Hemeimeem airbase conducted the strikes,” it said. “Early warning observers monitored the take-off of a fixed-wing aircraft, whose pilots communicated in Russian, from Hemeimeem airbase at 1:37 p.m. and tracked the aircraft going south and then to the northeast all the way to Atarib where it arrived at 2:07 p.m.”

“No Syrian aircraft were observed in the area in the two hours preceding the airstrikes,” it said.

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The three-member commission, chaired by Brazilian lawyer Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, has also criticized actions by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria, notably saying it failed to take proper precautions in avoiding civilian deaths in al-Mansoura last March that killed at least 150 displaced people.

Advocacy groups, including Human Rights Watch, have previously linked Russia to war crimes and human rights violations in Syria, such as bombing civilians in rebel-held eastern Aleppo in 2016.

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