Humanitarian crisis in Syria


Sir, – Brendan Butler (Sept.ember 8th) takes the political left to task for not leading the protest against the indiscriminate Russian bombardment of the innocent civilian population of Idlib in Syria.

The peace movement in Ireland has criticised Russia and others who are causing civilian deaths.

From an international law point of view, Russia and Iran are not in direct breach of the UN charter by providing military support to UN member Syria, but in some cases breaches of international and humanitarian laws have been committed by these countries when civilians were recklessly killed in air strikes.

But it must be pointed out that the United States and its allies including Nato have been in very clear breach of the UN charter by carrying our military attacks and supporting the attempted overthrow of the Syrian government without UN approval. Tens of thousands of foreign and Syrian fighters associated with Isis and al-Qaeda have been relocated to Idlib province. They have little prospect of returning to their own countries and many of these fighters are both perpetrators and victims. It’s likely that the countries that helped train and finance them always intended to abandon them.

In modern wars, innocent civilians, conscript soldiers and manipulated fanatics are slaughtered while the major war criminals and state terrorists go free.

Similar massacres happened when US supported forces captured and destroyed Mosul in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria. Thousands of civilians were killed with very limited outcry in western media.

If humanity is to prevail and survive, we must find peaceful ways of preventing such atrocities and promoting reconciliation when such war crimes are committed. – Yours, etc,