Civilian casualties rise amid increased Russian and Syrian airstrikes

According to widespread reports, civilian casualties and deaths have increased dramatically following the latest Cessation of Hostilities agreement failure.

Incendiary and cluster munitions have already been used on numerous occasions and now it seems more frequently than ever. As reported previously, Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons prohibits the use of substances as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas.

An increased number of videos have been released showing alleged incendiary strikes over recent days and weeks, examples of which can be seen below.

  • Youtube video Step News Agency (29 Aug 2016) – Step || Idlib bombing of phosphorus on Marchmarin Brive eastern Maaret al-Numan:

 

  • Youtube video AMC (21 Sep 2016) – Watched warplanes targeted neighborhoods besieged Aleppo phosphorus incendiary bombs:

 

  • Youtube video Thiqa Agency (22 Sep 2016) – Agency confidence || The first moments to target the town of Kferdaal phosphorous bombs:

 

  • Youtube video Thiqa Agency (24 Sep 2016) – Agency confidence || Moment Huraytan targeting missiles city that holds phosphorous bombs:

 

Clearly civilians are being wounded and killed in fundamentalist Islamic and Western deemed moderate controlled areas, inflicting collateral damage from such ordnance and their indirect, indiscriminate nature. This has been the case throughout the conflict and includes also ground based weapons such as mortars, rockets, artillery pieces, tanks, GRAD missiles, technical’s, barrel bombs and ‘Hell Cannons’ from all sides.

Clearly weapons delivered from the air add a greater level of carnage and destruction as can be seen throughout various fronts in Syria. According to recent reports from civilians living in populated areas near on going air strikes, more powerful ordnance appears to be in use including alleged ‘Bunker Buster’ type bombs although this has not been confirmed as yet.

Reports of such weapons being used in Syria are not a recent phenomenon, pro Russia website Sputnik reported Bunker Buster’s used by Russian warplanes in November 2015. Russia Today also reported on weapons the Russian Air Force is allegedly deploying in October 2015, both articles are linked below.

Following the failure of the latest US and Russian brokered ceasefire agreement, in large part due to the requirement of Western deemed moderate groups to separate from fundamentalist Islamic groups and coalitions which was rejected, it appears that the conflict is reaching new levels.

Opposition groups and coalitions, both Western deemed moderate and fundamentalist Islamic have closed ranks and are overtly working together to hold territory and advance. No clear divisional line appears to exist between opposition groups on various fronts and as such, Russian and Syrian jets appear to be striking all allied opposition groups with ever increasing ferocity.

This includes villages, town and cities where civilians still remain either out of choice or because they have no available means of escape.

Given the recent hostile statements by Western and Russian politicians and representatives at both the UN General Assembly and Security Council meetings, it appears any patience or trust that remained has run out.

This all follows recent incidents that have angered both sides including US airstrikes on Syrian soldiers and an attack on a UN aid convoy which is widely believed to be caused by Russian or Syrian airstrikes. The Syrian conflict appears to be ratcheting up still further and consequently the toll of civilians killed or wounded will follow in tandem.

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