Friday, September 30, 2016

One year of Russian bombing kills 4,000 Syrian civilians


Video: Russia's one year bombing campaign in Syria has left thousands dead, towns ravaged, villages razed, and dozens of hospitals and schools put out of service.
With Russia marking one year since its first air raids in Syria, a monitoring group has painted a chilling picture of the destruction unleashed by Moscow on the war-torn country.

Russian air raids have led to almost 10,000 dead, including 4,000 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday - the day marking one year since Russian intervention began.

The group also noted than Russian air raids had killed far more civilians than Islamic State group fighters.

In total the Syrian Observatory said that 3,804 civilians had died as a result of Russian air raids including 906 children, and 2,746 Islamic State fighters.

The remaining death toll, the monitoring group said, is made up of rebel fighters including moderate opposition groups.

Russia began its air campaign over the skies of Syria on September 30 last year in support of President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime.

It helped the Syrian president turn the tide after a series of miltiary set backs.

Since a US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapsed in Syria on 19 September and Russia has received fierce criticism for its part in the massive bombardment in rebel-held East Aleppo.

Entire buildings have been demolished by airs raids in the besieged districts and hospitals have been targeted.

Bunker busting bombs and white phosphorus have allegedly been used, and over 200 civilians have reportedly been killed in the area in the last two weeks.

On Thursday, Russia said it was prepared to agree to a 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo after rejecting a US suggestion for a one week truce.

The Russian ministry of defence posted on Twitter that it was prepared to introduce a "humanitarian pause" next week.

However, Russia's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Ryabkov rejected a US proposal for a seven-day truce accusing Washington of "de facto support for terrorism".

The US has threatend to halt cooperation with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian regime strikes on Aleppo end.

Syria's civil war, now in its sixth year, has resulted in over 400,000 deaths. Monitoring groups say that the majority of casualties are a result of regime and Russian air raids.

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