The Guardian reports: Russia has been directly and repeatedly accused of war crimes at the UN security council in an unusually blunt session, as hopes of any form of ceasefire were flattened by the scale and ferocity of the Syrian regime’s assault on eastern Aleppo.
The war crimes accusations centred on the widespread use of bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on the 275,000 civilians living in the rebel-held east of the city, weapons that Moscow’s accusers say were dropped by Russian aircraft.
“Bunker-busting bombs, more suited to destroying military installations, are now destroying homes, decimating bomb shelters, crippling, maiming, killing dozens, if not hundreds,” Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN, said during the emergency security council session on Syria on Sunday.
“Incendiary munitions, indiscriminate in their reach, are being dropped on to civilian areas so that, yet again, Aleppo is burning. And to cap it all, water supplies, so vital to millions, are now being targeted, depriving water to those most in need. In short, it is difficult to deny that Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes.” [Continue reading…]
Vox reports: One of the most disturbing features of the war in Syria — and there are many, many disturbing features of the war in Syria — has been the repeated attacks on medical facilities and personnel by Russian and Syrian government forces. The nonprofit advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights has called it “the worst campaign against health care anywhere in the world in recent memory.”
The latest attack came Wednesday, when four medical workers were reportedly killed and a nurse critically injured in an airstrike on a medical clinic in a village near the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims the strike was carried out by either Syrian or Russian warplanes.
This attack follows on the heels of a massive bombing of a United Nations humanitarian aid convoy on Monday that killed one aid worker and approximately 20 civilians, and destroyed at least 18 of the 31 aid trucks. US intelligence officials believe Russian forces carried out that airstrike.
Those attacks have been the rule, not the exception. [Continue reading…]