The United Nations Syria Commission has found that the United States and its allies have not taken adequate steps to protect against multiple civilian casualties.
Today’s report states,
“The Commission is gravely concerned about the impact of international coalition airstrikes on civilians”.
In describing US violations of established international law in Syria, the UN Commission report said,
“(The) forces of the United States of America failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians and civilian objects when attacking a mosque, in violation of international humanitarian law.
…ongoing Syrian Democratic Forces and international coalition offensive to repel [Islamic State or IS, formerly ISIS] has displaced over 190,000 persons, and coalition airstrikes have reportedly resulted in significant numbers of civilians killed and injured”.
Beyond this information, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly stated that US presence in Syria is illegal according to international law. US forces and those of their allies have not been authorised by the UN to conduct any military action on Syrian soil and likewise, they are not acting in accordance with the Syrian government. By contrast, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah forces are acting with the permission and cooperation of the Syrian government.
RT recently interviewed Syrian civilians who had escaped from the besieged city of Raqqa which is suffering doubly under both ISIS occupation and illegal US bombardment which the UN has recently condemned.
According to a former resident of Raqqa,
“We were directly targeted by the coalition after their reconnaissance craft filmed us, it was at a low altitude.
It was very clear that there were no insurgents in that area, there were kids playing in the streets and we were bringing water from a water tap, sipping drops. We were filmed, then directly targeted after hours. Our house and the civilian houses around us were directly targeted”.
Another eyewitness told RT about America’s use of the chemical weapon white phosphorous in Syria. He said,
“It has been said that the coalition used white phosphorus in the Faros neighbourhood of Raqqa. It was the aircraft. Who else would do that? It should be the aircraft. It targeted a civilian neighbourhood and the close-by areas”.
The Syrian government has recently written to the United Nations asking for compensation from the US and its allies for the destruction they have wrought on the country, including regarding the use of white phosphorus chemical weapons in Raqqa. The US also stands accused of using these chemical weapons in Iraq.
In many ways, the UN remains structurally deadlocked on the issue, due to the ideological prism through which the US continues to view the Syria crisis. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the US has gone a long way to attempt and influence the UN in favour of a clearly biased version of general events in Syria, but particularly those relating to the infamous alleged chemical weapons incident from the 6th of April, 2017.
While the deaths and injuries of civilians as a result of US airstrikes on Syria are a prima facie reality as is the fact that the US has no legal mandate, the events surrounding the chemical weapons incident in Idlib in April are far less clear.
After initially believing that Syrian airstrikes in Idlib may have hit a chemical weapons storage facility belonging to local terrorists, Russia has more recently concluded that the ‘attack’ was a staged event, after investigating the aftermath of the incident.
Russia has reached this conclusion due to the fact that no one in the area requested nor attempted to obtain an antidote for exposure to the highly toxic chemicals. Furthermore, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) refused to conduct an investigation on-site in Idlib, citing safety concern due to the substantial terrorist presence which remained in Idlib after April. Russia continued to request such an investigation and even offered help insure the safety of investigators, but the offer was never taken up by the OPCW.
This, combined with the fact that there remains no credible evidence of a Syrian instigated chemical attack in Idlib or for that matter any actual chemical attack at all, Russian concluded that the incident was a terrorist organised false flag designed to frame the Syrian government for a crime which it could not have committed, as the international community has accepted a 2013 OPCW report and accompanying investigation which confirmed that Syria has given up its entire chemical weapons stocks by 2014.
Syria has further repeatedly stated that it has never used such weapons, even prior to 2014 when Syria possessed such weapons which were initially sought as a deterrent to Israel’s nuclear weapons.
In spite of clear evidence to the contrary, the UN Commission has adopted the unilateral US narrative stated,
“All evidence available leads the Commission to conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe Syrian forces dropped an aerial bomb dispersing sarin in Khan Shaykhun at around 6:45am on 4 April”.
It is an unfortunate reflection on the compromised nature of the United Nations that a UN Commission has made a statement in line not with any investigation at or near the location of the alleged attack, but rather with a US narrative predicating on conveniently denying what Barack Obama’s administration signed off for when Obama accepted that since 2014, there have been no chemical weapons in the possession of the Syrian government.
In spite of this, the Idlib incident is largely an academic issue as since April, Syria and its partners in the war against terrorism, have liberated vast swaths of territory from groups like al-Qaeda, FSA and ISIS.
The recent breaking of the ISIS siege against Deir-ez-Zor has been a watershed moment in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, one which marks the beginning of the end of ISIS as force that is capable of putting up meaningful resistance on the battle field.
By contrast, the US crimes against international law in Raqqa which the report cites, are an ever present and ongoing threat to the civilians of Syria.
While US ideology still controls the wider MSM narrative on the Middle East, Washington dictates increasingly little in respect of what is happening on the ground in Syria. This is all the more crucial as the US had decided to back Wahhabist extremists in a battle against a secular, multi-faith government in one of the ancient cradles of world-civilisation, a civilisation which the terrorists operating against the Syrian government have threatened and continue to do so, in places like Libya and beyond.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.