An aerial view of a hospital that was reportedly hit by an air strike in the Syrian village of Shinan in war-ravaged Idlib province Photo: AFP
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U.S. demands Russia, Syria stop air strikes killing civilians

9 Comments
By Omar HAJ KADOUR

The United States on Friday demanded that the Syrian government and its Russian allies stop air strikes in northwestern Syria, saying they had a pattern of attacking civilians.

An AFP correspondent on Wednesday saw a rescue worker carry the limp body of a tiny girl, her throat covered in blood, in the village of Al-Sahaara in the jihadist-run enclave of Idlib.

The U.S. State Department said that attacks in the northwestern area over the previous two days had struck a school and a maternity hospital, killing 12 people.

"The latest reported incidents reflect a well-documented pattern of attacks against civilians and infrastructure by Russian and Syrian forces," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

"We urge Russia and the Assad regime to resolve this conflict through the U.N.-facilitated political process and to stop waging war in civilian areas," she said in a statement.

President Bashar al-Assad in April launched a devastating offensive in Idlib, a region home to three million people that remains under the control of Syria's former al-Qaida affiliate.

The violence comes amid talks in Geneva on amending Syria's constitution to pave the way to end the brutal civil war, which has killed more than 370,000 people since 2011.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

9 Comments
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Tell the rebels to quit set up command centers inside hospitals and to stop using schools as arms depots.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tell the rebels to quit set up command centers inside hospitals and to stop using schools as arms depots.

^^ Old but false narrative, often repeated by people who follows rather than make up their own mind.

Russia, yes Russia is emboldened by the US's withdrawal. It's now OK to activate the next phase, ie rat out the rebels, by using the neutral population. The neutral population will now have to choose side, stay and be attacked with the rebels, or rat out the rebels and in effect be pro Assad.

When this is all over, Assad will be saying, nothing to do with me...it's the CIA, it's the Russian etc.

If Assad really wanted to just weed out rebels hiding in hospitals he'd use simpler means, like cutting off services and food.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Even the rebels know it is not safe to shelter in hospitals, which are prime bombing targets.

In the past lists were handed to the Syrian government showing where the hospitals were, to avoid casualties, but these lists were used for the opposite purpose. Such collateral damage is deliberate policy by Syria (and the Russians who support them) to encourage remaining civilians to wake up and smell the very bitter coffee.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The US government concerned about civilian casualties from airstrikes? Am I reading The Onion?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

60 medical facilities hit in northern Syria in the last six months. 10 a month, and four this week.

Even the US could not manage a rate like that.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1581251/middle-east

Internal affairs of the Syrian government? The world watches, sees it, takes note, but there is nothing that can be done except show it openly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are always burning children in their beds, or some such thing.

The words of the main character in a book I read recently as he watched the news between deployments.

The US bombed Raqqa FLAT, hospitals, schools, and housing alike, without a single American reporter or media outlet even murmuring about the doctors, women, and children killed in the carpet bombing, or giving a running total of the diminishing number of doctors and hospitals. Even when the (embedded?) reporter accidentally did his feed with a bombed out hospital in the background (you could, if you are an attention to detail person, see the hospital symbol sticking partly out of the rubble) he didn't say one word about its destruction.

Compare that to the incessant countdown and regular ranting about the 'deliberately targeted attacks on hospitals and civilians' when the Syrian military patiently liberated a part of Aleppo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The United States on Friday demanded that the Syrian government and its Russian allies stop air strikes in northwestern Syria, saying they had a pattern of attacking civilians.

Uh, has someone asked the US President? You know, the one that cut and run in Syria and left the northern area TO Putin and Assad?

This is all on you Donnie...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Uh, this is Idlib in the northwest, a sort of no-man's land, supported by no-one in particular but controlled by extreme rebels like the al Nusra front, a different area and definitely not the SDF/YPG Kurdish part that Trump pulled out of.

Richard Pearce mentions the flattening of Raqqa (until the remaining rebels were allowed to leave in a giant convoy) but forgets to mention Mosul in Iraq, similarly flattened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@lincolnman

Uh, has someone asked the US President? You know, the one that cut and run in Syria and left the northern area TO Putin and Assad?

Do you know where Idlib is? It's the last stronghold of Jihadists of all stripes, rather far from the Kurdish areas affected by the recent agreement between the U.S. and Turkey.

@nandakandamanda

forgets to mention Mosul in Iraq, similarly flattened

Exactly. What a shame the U.S. never demonstrated in its air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan the same self-restraint it demands from Russia and Syria now. And why the U.S. does not demand Saudi Arabia to stop its air strikes in Yemen?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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