Russia Has Allegedly Killed More Syrian Civilians Than ISIS Militants Over The Past Month

| by Jimmy King
A battle in Syria, 2015A battle in Syria, 2015

The Russian military reportedly killed more Syrian civilians than both ISIS and Assad’s army in January.

This information comes from the independent watchdog group Syrian Network for Human Rights. According to the SNHR report, Russian airstrikes in Syria killed an estimated 679 civilians in January alone.  The organization uses reports of Syrian civil servants to verify its estimates regarding deaths in the country’s conflict, reports Newsweek.

The SNHR has accused both Russia and the Assad regime of “violat[ing] the principles of the human rights international laws which protect the rights to life.”

The report also holds that an overwhelming proportion of the attacks in Syria’s civil war have targeted civilians.

“All evidence and eyewitnesses’ testimony prove that more than 90 percent of the wide and individual attacks targeted civilians and civil points,” reads the report. 

Russia has repeatedly denied that its military has caused any civilian deaths in Syria. 

“Despite a huge number of such statements, no one up to now has presented a single [piece of] credible evidence as proof,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Feb. 10 according to Transitions Online. 

Most of Russia’s airstrikes are reportedly hitting population-dense cities that are currently contested between rebel forces and the Assad regime.  Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa are reportedly some of Russia’s biggest targets. 

The Russian air force asserts that its airstrikes do not result in civilian deaths in Syria.  Colonel General Viktor Bondarev of the Russian Air Force rebuked accusations of bombs hitting civilian targets, claiming “[the Russian air force] have not missed even once.”

The SNHR’s report condemns Russia’s conduct in Syria along with all other factions embroiled in the ongoing civil war. 

“Russian forces, Kurdish self-management forces, extremist Islamic groups, International coalition forces and armed opposition groups committed extrajudicial crimes that amount to war crimes,” reads the report.

The report also recommends that the UN Security Council move to stop states from supporting the Assad regime, and to curb bombing campaigns that cause a significant part of civilian casualties. 

Sources: Newsweek, Syrian Network for Human Rights, Transitions Online / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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