HEADLINES

Syria: UN Says War Crimes Team Not To Investigate Airstrikes

By Sebastien Malo. December 16, 2015. Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Men stand along a crater caused by what activists said was a Russian air strike in Latamneh, in the northern province of Hama, Syria October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah Men stand along a crater caused by what activists said was a Russian air strike in Latamneh, in the northern province of Hama, Syria October 2, 2015. (REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah)

A United Nations team of war crimes investigators will not probe air strikes by foreign countries in Syria, its chairman said on Wednesday, despite concerns that some attacks by foreign militaries could have violated the laws of war.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria is not intended to investigate air strikes in Syria by foreign nations, Chairman Paulo Pinheiro said.

It is not our mandate to investigate the behavior of powers involved in the crisis of Syria,” Pinheiro told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.

It would not probe potential cases of violations of international human rights law involving nations conducting military strikes in Syria, he said.

There is no possibility that we will investigate the American air strikes or French or British or Russian,” he said.

The decision reflected a desire not to meddle into the affairs of powers outside Syria as well as limited means at the group’s disposal, Pinheiro added.

With the rapid expansion of territory controlled by the militant group Islamic State, nations including the United States, France, Britain and Russia have carried out air strikes on targets in Syria.

Some observers have cited instances that disproportionately hit civilians and civil infrastructure, and Pinheiro and his three co-commissioners have repeatedly cautioned powers to follow the laws of war.

Embodied in the Geneva Conventions, the rules require warring parties to distinguish between military and civilian targets, such as schools and hospitals, and carry out operations in a way that is proportional to the perceived threat.

U.S. officials said in November they did not dispute human rights activists’ allegations that Russian bombs and missiles have hit Syrian mosques, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, killing hundreds of people.

Among these allegations, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a Nov. 20 report that air strikes by Russia left 403 civilians dead, including more than 160 women and children.

UNICEF condemned earlier this month air strikes that it said reportedly hit a water-treatment plant in the northern city of Aleppo.

It was unclear whether the attack had been conducted by domestic or foreign forces.

Watchdog Human Rights Watch said in an Oct. 25 report that at least two air strikes possibly carried out by Russia had killed 59 civilians in Homs.

  • The group, citing the possible use of weapons with indiscriminate impact such as vacuum bombs in populated areas, said the strikes could have violated the laws of war.

The U.N. commission was set up shortly after the start of the nearly five-year-old Syrian civil war, which has forced more than four million of refugees to flee the country and killed some 250,000 people.

Its mission is “to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic,” according to the website of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. war crimes team will not investigate foreign air strikes in Syria.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Paramedics rush to the scene at the capital of Faso terrorist attack by Al-Qiada on January 15, 2016. The attack comes less than two months after a terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Malian capital Bamako on November 20 in which 20 people died including 14 foreigners.
  • The month is also a time of community; it is the custom for Muslims to invite their neighbours and friends to share their evening meal – iftar – and recite special Tarawih prayers in congregation. It is also a time when Muslims try to reconnect with the Qur’an, which they believe is the word of God. However, Children, people who are sick or who have mental illness, elderly people for example do not have to fast.
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • A question I have been asked many times since I began covering the humanitarian crisis in Yemen; who is taking care of the war orphans in Yemen? It appears the world has forgotten them, perhaps because they are not considered refugee orphans, nobody is paying attention to the gross crimes against these little ones - committed at the hands of an invading regime - Saudi Arabia.. children isleep nside a pitt in the ground, it is now normal for adults to put children to sleep in a large hole to ptotect child from snipers andcluster bombs that spray shrapnel Yemen.
  • Yesterday I re-blogged two article's suggesting that Donald Trump announced his candidacy as a ruse to help Hillary Clinton secure the title of President of The United States. When a friend first emailed me a link to the article by J.K. Trotter published in the Gawker, I brushed it off as too far-fetched, However, I recently changed my mind, and I will explain why I doubt Donald Trump's campaign started as a legit quest for the presidency.
  • Mona Relief has become a lifeline to the Yemeni families they reach; delivering more than physical aid, they bring with them a glimmer of hope; a reassurance that Yemen is not forgotten.
  • The May 18-21 festival appeared to be a Saudi charm offensive aimed at federal policy makers as the Trudeau government fields questions about its decision to grant export permits for the armoured vehicles to a country that U.S. watchdog Freedom House regularly ranks among “the worst of the worst” on human rights. The Saudi embassy blamed “logistical reasons” for its last-minute change of plans when contacted Monday and a spokesperson said the country’s decision was not motivated by fear of protesters. Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s office had already said he would not be attending the “Saudi Cultural Days in Canada.” The embassy was adamant the event “had nothing to do” with the $15-billion arms deal and said it had been planned for years. Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, however, said it was notified of the “Cultural Days” on Jan. 14. That date was nearly two weeks after mass executions in Saudi Arabia drew public condemnation from the Trudeau government.
  • A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees to Canada late Thursday night at Pearson International airport
  • UNICEF estimates nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 injured in the past four months in the country, the poorest in the Middle East. 13 Yemeni teaching staff and four children were killed by a Saudi air strike on August 20. Two days before, coalition bombing in the Amran province took the lives of 17 civilians, injuring 20 more. UNICEF condemned what it called the “senseless bloodshed.” A Red Cross spokeswoman said the violence in Ta’iz, in southern Yemen, in just one day on August 21 left 80 people dead.
  • Documentary: Part One - A Year In Space With Scott Kelly
  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • A Palestinian girl and women figth to free a Palestinian boy (bottom) held by an Israeli soldier (C) during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters following a march against Palestinian land confiscation to expand the nearby Jewish Hallamish settlement on August 28, 2015 in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Nicki 'Minnie' Minaj
  • Caption this winner sept 1
  • Victoria's 'Homeless' Drug Addicts
  • Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled files stolen from Iran,
  • Donald Trump will save the day
  • Donald Trump for President
  • Donald Trump and I Lama Crazy. alistairreignblog.com
  • Way-Back Machine: Who Owned It Best? Come on in and pick out your favorite Dracula cape! Who flaunted the full-length cape better than the rest?

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.