United States UN Ambassador Nikki Haley questioned a Russian Ambassador over allegations that Syrian and Russian forces targeted civilians, including women and children during bombing raids in Aleppo and other parts of Syria.
This came after Russia and China both used their veto powers to stop a resolution from moving forward that would have held individuals accountable for the use of Chemical weapons.
“Russia and China made an outrageous and indefensible choice today,” Haley said, “They turned their backs on defenseless men, women and children who died gasping for breath when Assad’s forces dropped their poisonous gas.”
In defense of Russia’s veto Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said the UN resolution was a “flawed anti-Syrian draft” and “absolutely unacceptable.”
The Syrian conflict has gone on for nearly seven years and evidence is mounting against Syrian President Bashar Assad that he is guilty of war crimes against his own people. A UN commissioned report found that chemical weapons and cluster bombs were used indiscriminately against civilians in the final months of the battle for Aleppo, a rebel held area.
Paulo Pinheiro, the UN commission chairman on the inquiry into the Syrian conflict said, “The scale of what happened in Aleppo is unprecedented in the Syrian conflict. The deliberate targeting of civilians has resulted in the immense loss of human life, including hundreds of children.”
The commission’s report made clear that there were at least two incidents where chlorine bombs were dropped by Syrian aircraft in an effort to evacuate residential areas. The commission also concluded that Syrian forces targeted a humanitarian UN convoy in September, CBS News reported.
Peace talks are continuing in Geneva this week, where they hope to find a political agreement to stop the fighting in Syria, though UN officials have low expectations for a breakthrough.
Russian Strikes Syrians being Trained by US
CBS reports “Russian aircraft mistakenly bombed Syrian fighters who were being trained by the United States, according to reports, as both the US and Russian turn their attention to fighting ISIS.”
The airstrikes resulted in casualties among the Syrian forces, but details about the number of casualties were not reported.
Gen. Stephen Townsend, Commander of Coalition Forces said, “To avoid mishaps in the air the US and Russian forces (sic) are notifying each side about where they are operating, but they are not coordinating by sharing intelligence or targeting information,” the USA Today reports.
The US, Russian and Turkey are backing numerous forces, with differing agendas in Syria, which has been in a civil war for the past six years.
(Editors note: A misspelled word in a quote, “militaries” is changed to “forces” in paragraph eleven.)