Home World Middle East News Russia Rejects Accusations of War Crimes in Syria

Russia Rejects Accusations of War Crimes in Syria

Russia has firmly rejected accusations of war crimes over the bombing of hospitals in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “those who make such statements are not capable of backing them up with proof”.

Up to 50 people were killed in missile attacks on at least four hospitals and two schools in rebel-held areas of northern Syria on February 15.

The UN said the “deliberate” targeting of such facilities “could amount to war crimes”, according to Reuters.

Russia has been accused, by Turkey among others, of being responsible for the attacks.

Meanwhile, a Turkish official on February 16 said Turkey would back a ground operation in Syria but only “with our international allies”.

Yesterday’s strikes hit two hospitals and two schools in Azaz, near the border with Turkey, and at least two hospitals in Maarat al-Numan, further south.

One of the hospitals in Maarat al-Numan was run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which called the attack a “deliberate” strike.

Mego Terzian, president of MSF France, told Reuters “either the [Syrian] government or Russia” was responsible.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

The Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, previously said the US was to blame, a claim the Pentagon dismissed as “patently false”.

The strikes came days after world powers – including Russia – agreed to work towards a selective truce in Syria, due to begin later this week.

The UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on February 16, and was planning to meet him again later in the day.

They were due to discuss among other things one of the key priorities of the truce – “unhindered humanitarian access to all besieged areas”. There is no word yet on when aid convoys might reach those areas.

Earlier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cast doubt over the “cessation of hostilities” plan, saying it did not mean all the parties would put down their weapons.

“So far they say they want a ceasefire within a week,” Bashar al-Assad said in his first comments of February 12 agreement.

“Who is capable of gathering all these conditions and requirements within a week?”

Syrian government forces – backed by Russian air power – are reportedly continuing to make advances around the northern city of Aleppo, capturing the villages of Ahras and Misqan on February 16.

Roy likes politics. Knowledge is power, Roy constantly says, so he spends nearly all day gathering information and writing articles about the latest events around the globe. He likes history and studying about war techniques, this is why he finds writing his articles a piece of cake. Another hobby of his is horse – riding.