Burgerdoden door Russische en coalitiebombardementen in SyriŽ

Jeff meisner op xs4all.nl
Ma Okt 3 18:23:20 CEST 2016

The issue of civilian deaths through air bombardment is indeed among the
greatest tragedies of the Syrian civil war. There are only 3 forces
dropping bombs in Syria: the Syrian government, the Russian forces in
support of the Syrian government over the last year, and the US-led
coalition over the last two years aimed solely at ISIS and some rebel
forces (such as the former Jahbat al-Nusra, now Jahbat Fateh al-Sham) which
they label "terrorist."

As these numbers (and other estimates) confirm, the Russian intervention
over the last year has killed a significantly larger number of civilians
than the American-led forces, and the Syrian air force has killed a much
larger number than that over 5 years of fighting mainly against rebel
forces (but also against ISIS in Raqqa especially). Comparing these numbers
and their locations is relevant to understanding the dynamics of the civil
war and the scale of the brutality (for instance, noting the approximately
400 or so civilians killed in just the last week in east Aleppo!). However
even a SINGLE civilian killed as a result of bombing from the air can be
considered a war crime, and the usual excuses offered (such as "the enemy
was hiding inside a hospital" or "they were using human shields") are not
considered a valid defense.

Bombing from the air in or around populated areas is therefore widely
viewed as illegitimate regardless of the justifications supplied. It will
always turn the affected population against the forces responsible, which
is why it isn't used when they are actually seeking to win the allegiance
of the civilian population. Most Syrian rebels, in addition to denouncing
the bombing by the Syrian and Russian governments, also disagree with the
US coalition's use of air bombardment against ISIS. Even though they view
ISIS just as evil as the Assad government, they do not see bombing them
from the air as a very effective or justifiable tactic. 

Indeed before the intervention by the US-led coalition, it was the Free
Syrian Army (FSA) that played the greatest role in pushing back ISIS, which
was fighting mainly to conquer land held by Syrian rebels, not Assad's
forces; this is how ISIS was pushed out of Aleppo. In 2014-2015 the Kurdish
forces (YPG) fought ISIS on the ground, famously liberating Kobane and
other Kurdish areas in the north. Neither the FSA or YPG had an air force,
and their ground campaigns against ISIS met with the greatest success.
Eventually the US-led coalition, not having had great success against ISIS
despite the continuing bombing, realized the need for ground forces in that
regard, and formed the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) largely
through supplying arms and logistical support to Kurdish fighters already
fighting on the ground. 

These ground campaigns have been much more successful in pushing back ISIS,
causing little death to civilians. So although the Syrian rebels view ISIS
as a great danger and an enemy equal to that of the Syrian government, they
do not view the air campaign against ISIS as very effective nor as
justifiable given the undue toll on civilians present in the areas where
this bombing often takes place. It is because of the unacceptability of
bombing from the air, that Syrians in the affected areas have been calling
for a no-fly zone to prevent these innocent deaths, as we have been
recently witnessing in Aleppo. It is also why they have repeatedly
requested (but been refused) MANPADs (shoulder-fired anti-aircraft
missiles) which would deter these bombing runs that have killed so many
civilians in Syria.

The world must affirm that the bombing of civilians from the air is
unacceptable and should be prosecuted as a war crime!

- Jeff

At 17:00 03-10-16 +0200, vredesnieuws op vredesmedia.nl wrote:
>Momenteel wordt er enorm veel gepubliceerd over de verschrikkelijke
bombardementen in SyriŽ, waarbij veel burgerdoden vallen. Is het terecht
dat hierbij alleen naar Rusland en de Syrische regering gewezen wordt? Hier
vindt u de objectieve cijfers.
>De organisatie Airwars houdt al langere tijd de burgerslachtoffers bij die
door de coalitie gemaakt worden. Wat korter doen ze het zelfde voor Rusland.
>>Zij komen op 1612 tot 2437 burgers die gedood zijn in bombardementen door
de coalitie in de periode van augustus 2014 t/m september 2016. Voor
Rusland zijn deze aantallen 6407 tot 8164 in de veel kortere periode van
oktober 2015 t/m september 2016.
>>Conclusie is dus dat Rusland veel meer burgerslachtoffers maakt dan de
coalitie, maar dat het aantal dat de coalitie maakt ook aanzienlijk is. Er
is dus alle reden om ook tegen de bombardementen van de coalitie te
>>Meer info en een uitvoerige verantwoording vindt u op www.airwars.org

Meer informatie over de Vredeslijst maillijst