Russia’s involvement in Syria
Sir, – The press secretary at the Russian embassy (October 8th) offers no evidence whatsoever to rebut well-researched reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the Russian air force has repeatedly targeted civilians by bombing hospitals, schools, bakeries and myriad similar buildings, as well as residential areas.
Indeed, it must be emphasised that this tactic of using unsubstantiated blanket denials is characteristic of the Russian response when confronted with evidence of its indiscriminate aerial attacks on civilians. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are well able to answer for themselves but it is important to stress that there is an almost bottomless well of evidence to support claims of relentless attacks on civilians in the form of witness testimony, video footage, photos and satellite imagery.
Meanwhile, in Idlib, the bombing of hospitals as well as egregious indiscriminate attacks on civilians has resumed again. The UN Human Rights Council in a recent resolution has called on the Assad regimes and its allies (including Russia) to halt indiscriminate attacks against civilians, hospitals and medical workers. In other words, it is not just Amnesty and Human Rights Watch but also the UN and other independent NGOs specialising in Syria that have condemned directly and indirectly Russia’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians. – Yours, etc,
RONAN L TYNAN,