UNITED NATIONS, United States: Amnesty International publicized new satellite images on Wednesday showing that more than 110 locations were hit in 2 weeks of bombing raids in Syria’s battleground city of Aleppo.
The rights group stated there was evidence that Russian-made cluster munitions, which are banned under global conventions, had been used in civilian-populated zones of eastern Aleppo in the past 3 weeks.
The heavy bombing of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian warplanes is “part of a cautious military strategy to empty the city of its citizens and seize control,” Amnesty stated. In just one week, 90 locations were smashed or destroyed in an area roughly the size of Manhattan, according to the satellite images.
“The scale of the violence and destruction created on eastern Aleppo city over the past month is distressing,” stated Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of research at Amnesty’s Beirut organization.
“Syrian government forces, with the support of Russia, have launched persistent attacks that have openly ignored fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.”
Amnesty revised photographs showing miscellanies of cluster bombs and submunitions dropped in Aleppo neighborhoods over the past 3 weeks and stated weapons experts have identified these as Russian-made.
Maalouf stated the apparent use of cluster bombs in east Aleppo was “further evidence of how strong-minded Syrian government forces and their Russian allies are to create a hostile and fatal environment in the city, clearly aimed at driving civilians out at any cost.”
The satellite photos showed huge craters in heavily built-up areas that were identified as destroyed buildings in east Aleppo, which has been under dense bombing since the Syrian offensive to retake the area began on September 22.
Amnesty quoted the Syrian American Medical Society as stating that 14 medical accommodations have been hit by air strikes in the nearly month-long offensive. Doctors are struggling to provide treatment for large number of victims from the bombing. At one point, 800 injured patients were recorded in a week.
Amnesty recalled that the cautious targeting of hospitals and other buildings used by civilians amount to war crimes. The release of the pictures was timed to coincide with a special session in the General Assembly on Thursday that was called to press strains for peace efforts in Syria after the Security Council failed to take action.
Two resolutions difficult a halt to the violence were defeated at the Security Council during a stormy session this month, with Russia refusing a measure calling for an end to the air attacks.
Led by Canada, 70 nations in the 193-member assembly have called for the session that diplomats have said could lay the groundwork for tougher action, possibly targeting Syria’s chosen by election rights at the United Nations.