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UN investigators suspect Russia and Turkey of war crimes in Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russian airstrikes in Syria resulted in civilian casualties, while Turkish-backed insurgents committed murders and robberies in Kurdish areas, UN investigators said Monday, pointing out actions that could amount to war crimes as Moscow and Ankara.

The report of the UN commission, covering the period from July 2019 to February 2020, said that Russia inflicted air strikes on the market and the camp for displaced people, which killed dozens of civilians in July and August.

“In both cases, the Russian Air Force did not direct attacks on a specific military facility, which is tantamount to a war crime in the form of indiscriminate attacks on residential areas,” the report said.

The report also described violations committed by Turkish-supported rebels in Kurdish-occupied areas. The commission said that if they acted under the control of the Turkish armed forces, then these commanders may be responsible for war crimes.

Investigators accused Russia of delivering a strike on the city of Maarrat-en-Nuuman on July 22, which killed at least 43 civilians.

A few weeks later, as a result of a blow to a camp for displaced people in the city of Hass, at least 20 people died and 40 more were injured, the report said.

“Based on the evidence, including testimonies, videos, photographs … the commission has reasonable grounds to believe that Russian aircraft participated in each of the incidents described above,” the report says.

The authors of the report also called on Turkey to investigate whether it carried out an airstrike on a convoy of civilian vehicles near the city of Ras al-Ain in October, which killed 11 people.

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