Attention to Military Crimes in ‘Raqqa’ by the International Coalition in Syria

The withdrawal of the US army from Syria will bring military (war) crimes to the fore. Experts say military crimes committed by the international coalition during the so-called fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will definitely be the talk of the new year.

And the focus will most definitely be ‘Raqqa’. According to a report by Amnesty International, airstrikes by the US-led coalition in Raqqa, Syria probably breached the international humanitarian law. This potentially amounts to war crimes. The coalition’s carpet bombing turned Raqqa into a ghost city.

Tass, a Russian News Agency highlighted that during the operation to liberate Raqqa, where the ISIL openly used civil residents as a shield, US, UK and France sent their aviation there that just dropped bombs on the city’s residential quarters. The report says “Raqqa has not been cleared from mine yet and thousands of bodies remain under the city debris. Outbreaks of infectious diseases are being registered in the city which is killing civilians, including children.”

In November 2018, the Syrian government demanded an independent and international mechanism to investigate the crimes against the civilians by the US-led coalition. According to PressTV, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters to the United Nations and the Security Council stated that the airstrikes by the coalition in Hajin, the eastern town near the Iraqi border, claimed the lives of 26 civilians including 14 children.

“This once again exposed the United States false claims of combating terrorism and revealed that the military alliance had no respect whatsoever for the lives of the innocent people and the international law.” The letters stated that the US-led coalition’s aim was to kill as many Syrian people as possible, further destroy Syria’s infrastructure, undermine the country’s future, sovereignty and territorial integrity and hinder a political settlement of the ongoing crisis. The Syrian foreign ministry highlighted this as a blatant violation of all United Nations Security Council resolutions on Syria.

The US President Donald Trump declared the decision to start the pullout of American forces from Syria on December 19. Trump said that IS had been defeated and there was no other reason for the US forces to remain in Syria.