Russia Dismisses Amnesty Report on Possible Syria War Crimes

Report Warns of Growing Civilian Casualties in Airstrikes

Russia’s Defense Ministry is dismissing a new report from Amnesty International about “possible war crimes” in their air campaign in Syria, denying the use of cluster munitions in the war and insisting the other claims are “nothing new.”

Amnesty’s report detailed strikes in residential areas, hitting mosques and hospitals, saying that the strikes have “killed hundreds of civilians.” Amnesty confirmed they are also working on a report on US strikes in Syria, but did not say when this would be released.

Western nations have previously faulted Russia primarily for attacking “non-ISIS targets,” including al-Qaeda’s holding in Idlib Province. The claim from the Amnesty report is that the slain are almost exclusively civilian, with only a “dozen or so” combatants, which would be difficult to reconcile with rebel claims of Russia killing scores of their fighters.

Reports of hundreds of civilian deaths in Russian airstrikes are common enough, and indeed it’s unsurprising to see them denying those reports, as the US, Canada, and everyone else carrying out strikes in Syria similarly blanketly denies their reports of civilian killings.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.