Russian air raids began in Syria on 3 September this year, targeting Islamic State group militants, in support of the Syrian government in helping to tackle the terrorist group’s spread in the region.
While the message from Moscow is that only terrorist targets have been struck, the evidence gathered from international human rights NGOs is quite different.
Amnesty International’s report released this week has highlighted five cases, in areas that have been subject to repeated airstrikes: Homs, Idlib, Hama and Latakia. In these cities there appear to be no military targets in the vicinity, which has raised the doubt as to whether civilians were deliberately targeted, being either fully or partly in control of opposition groups.
This sets a pretext for a worrying assertion, which is amplified with the evidence that Amnesty International put forward for Russia’s use of cluster munitions. In the same week, Human Rights Watchconfirmed those munitions found after attacks – in an IDP camp, among other places – were manufactured in Russia.