The Guardian reports: Russia is breaching all the norms of war by deliberately targeting rescue workers, schools and hospitals in Syria, the UK foreign secretary has claimed, accusing the Russians of running return raids on targets inside Syria solely to hit civilian rescue workers.
Philip Hammond levelled his charges after meeting Syrian civil defence workers in Adana, southern Turkey. The rescue workers are being trained by the Turks to extract the injured and dying from the rubble of buildings struck by Syrian regime bombs or Russian raids.
In probably his toughest condemnation of Russian tactics since Vladimir Putin surprised the west by intervening militarily in Syria at the end of September, Hammond said: “The Russians are deliberately attacking civilians, and the evidence points to them deliberately attacking schools and hospitals and deliberately targeting rescue workers.
“If you go back for a second strike you know what you are doing.”
The west has long argued Russia is not targeting Islamic State but instead opponents of the Assad regime, but this is the furthest Hammond has gone in condemning the tactics of Russian pilots. [Continue reading…]