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

  • The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945. (Photo: Public Domain). (Alistair Reign News Blog www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • And now - a country with more than 10,000 people killed in the ensuing violence, over 10,000 more died of starvation under the blockade of humanitarian aid and supplies - the Middle East’s poorest nation, Yemen is reduced to the brink of famine.
  • 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.
  • ery same government who deliberately allowed this occupation to take place last fall. Regardless of what is happening with a possible injunction application, I urge every person to call the Premier’s office in the morning, telling her she has to get her administration working overtime to get rid of tent city and under no circumstances to move this horror story a block away into Mt. Edwards where we’ll then have a PERMANENT tent city indoors, with all the same shit going on every day and night!
  • 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.
  • Women to be placed on Canadian bank notes. Merna Forster helps prove that the adage is true, one voice can raise the voices of many. Forster is from British Columbia's provincial capital, Victoria, and her petition has brought about recognition to an overlooked wrong that required "righting" - and that she did with an impressive 73,402 signatures.
  • 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.
  • Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016
  • Many children in the street killed from a Saudi-led airstrike on a Yemen refugee camp.
  • Codepink protesters outside the NRA headquarters, Fairfax, Virginia June 19, 2016. (Photo: CODEPINK).

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Satire: USA Denies Whites Can Be Terrorist
  • When cartoons turn into people
  • Donald Trump for President of the (Mexican free and NOW Muslim free) United Sates of America. (AlistairReignBlog.com),
  • Donald Trump and I Lama Crazy. alistairreignblog.com
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Donald Trump for President
  • Sesame Street - Grouch Apprentice with Donald Grump
  • Victoria's 'Homeless' Drug Addicts
  • Putin Pumpkin Head
  • Way-back Machine: Who Vogue'd It Best? Take our poll at Alistair Reign News Blog: AlistairReignBlog.com