The Russian and Syrian governments deliberately targeted civilians while bombing the rebel-held city of Aleppo, according to a report released Monday.
Hospitals were included in the civilian-populated areas targeted during the airstrikes, according to a report by Atlantic Council, a policy research center based in Washington, D.C.
— Maks Czuperski (@MaksCzuperski) February 13, 2017
Officials in Syrian and Russia have repeatedly denied the accusations, CNN reported.
The report, titled “Breaking Aleppo,” draws its conclusions based on a multiple of sources, including satellite imagery, social media, surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts. It outlines Russia’s “indiscriminate” use of incendiary munitions and cluster bombs and also reports that chlorine gas was widely deployed by Syrian forces.
— AtlanticCouncil (@AtlanticCouncil) February 13, 2017
In December, the Syrian military took control of Aleppo, ending more than four years of rebel rule and marking a turning point in the Syrian civil war.
The international community has condemned the airstrikes in Syria, particularly in Aleppo. In November, then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “indiscriminate shelling” for killing and injuring thousands of civilians and for leaving the eastern part of the city without functioning hospitals.
— The Syria Campaign (@TheSyriaCmpgn) February 13, 2017
In October, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official presented satellite photos of the neighborhood taken on Sept. 24 and Oct. 11, claiming that “no changes to the facility can be observed” and that “this fact proves that all accusations of indiscriminate strikes voiced by some alleged eyewitnesses turn out to be mere fakes.”
But, satellite photos taken on Sept. 25 and Oct. 13 by Digiglobe and analyzed by the Atlantic Council show the appearance of a bomb crater outside the hospital, offering a timeline of three attacks that reduced the neighborhood to rubble.
The report details damage to a hospital in the al-Sakhour neighborhood in eastern Aleppo, also known as the M10. The details contradict claims by the Russian military that the hospital, supported by the Syrian American Medical Society, wasn’t hit.
— Sarah Jones Reports (@SarahJReports) February 13, 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that he welcomes closer engagement with the U.S. to fight “absolute evil” in Syria, according to Russian state news. President Donald Trump has signaled the possibility for increased cooperation with Moscow in Syria, CNN reported.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has previously expressed “high hopes” for increased U.S.-Russian engagement to help the fight against ISIS.
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