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Syria requests compensation from US over destruction wrought by war

A picture taken on March 17, 2017, at the site of a reported airstrike on a mosque in the village of Al-Jineh in Aleppo province, shows a damaged motorcycle outside as Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, conduct rescue operations and dig through the rubble. The US military says it carried out an air strike in northern Syria against an Al-Qaeda target, but denies deliberately targeting a mosque where dozens were killed according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. / AFP PHOTO / Omar haj kadour (Photo credit should read OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images)

The government of the Syrian Arab Republic has written to the United Nations demanding that the international body compensate Syria for its human and material loses which resulted from illegal US and US allied bombings of Syrian infrastructure.

The letter comes shortly after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reminded the world that US intervention in Syria is illegal according to the international law that the UN is supposed to enforce.

The full letter from Syria to the UN is reproduced below:

Upon instructions from my Government, and further to previous letters
relating to the aerial bombardments carried out by aircraft of the so-called
international coalition led by the United States of America on villages and areas
populated by civilians and on oil and gas infrastructure and facilities in the Syrian
Arab Republic, I wish to convey to you the following information:

• On 22 April 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate “international coalition” bombed
a gas station in the north-central part of Tuwaynan district in Raqqah governorate.

• On 29 and 30 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate “international coalition”
bombed gas wells in the Tabiyah district in Dayr al-Zawr (aka Dier ez-Zoir) governorate.

• On 27 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate coalition bombed the village of Hasu Albu Awf in the district of Shaddadah in Hasakah governorate, completely destroying many homes and killing civilians, most of them children.

Of the victims, the following have been identified: Ayd Abdullah al-Husyan, Farhan Ayd al-Husayn and Amal al-Khidr, and children such as Muhammad Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2007, Sarah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2009, Ibrahim Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2010, Zahrah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2016, and Yusuf Fariq al-Husayn, born in 2016.

The repeated bombardments by this illegitimate “international coalition”
continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians and to cause
significant material losses and the near-total destruction of Syrian facilities, homes and infrastructure, as well as the utter destruction of Syrian oil and gas facilities and sites.

The attacks by the so-called international coalition, together with the illegal
unilateral coercive economic measures imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic by the United States of America, the European Union and other States are impeding the maintenance of those economic facilities and jeopardising the prospects for development and reconstruction in the Syrian Arab Republic.

My Government reaffirms its position that the attacks by the so-called
international coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant within the
territory of the Syrian Arab Republic are illegal and violate the Charter of the
United Nations and international law, inasmuch as they are being carried out
without prior authorisation from or coordination with the Syrian Government.

My Government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of
S/2017/603, 2/2 17-11960, this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility
for compensation.

I should be grateful if this letter could be issued as a document of the Security
Council.
(Signed) Mounzer Mounzer.

Thus far, repeated US bombardments of Syria, including in Raqqa Governorate have come under scrutiny for hitting civilian targets as well as key infrastructure. The United States is also accused of using the chemical weapon white phosphorus in both Syria and Iraq.

One of the primary reasons that US bombings often hit civilian targets is due to the fact that America refuses to coordinate its attacks with the Syrian government. By contrast, Russian Aerospace Forces work closely with Syria and its allies and are constantly sharing crucial intelligence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has invited the United States to participate in the legal anti-terrorist coalition in Syria, but the United States refuses to respond to his calls. Al-Assad subsequently reaffirmed that all forces fighting in, bombing and occupying Syria including the United States, Turkey and Israel, are violating international law.

Syria, like Russia is not interested in fighting the United States. Syria would prefer the US forces to vacate the country while Russia which is fully aware of the illegality of US forces in Syria and has repeatedly stated this, appears to want to bring America into a reasonable peace process.

US-Russian-Jordanian cooperation in respect of enforcing a ceasefire in south-western Syria appears to be the first such cooperative measure between Moscow and Washington. Turkey, whose forces have illegally invaded and occupied Syria from the beginning of the conflict, was brought into a similar peace process when it joined Syria’s partners Russia and Iran as a member of the Astana Group.

The US will almost certainly not compensate Syria for its loses, but the letter nevertheless is now a matter of public record which crucially details America’s war crimes in Syria.

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