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U.N. report alleges Russia, Turkey committed war crimes in Syria

Russia's air attacks on non-military targets in Syria 'amounting to war crimes'

Airstrike in Syria on January 15, 2020
(Izzeddin Idilbi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Updated: March 3, 2020 - 10:20am

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Russia killed civilians in Syria with airstrikes this past summer on a popular market and a camp for displaced people, in its effort to help the Syrian government against rebels and militants, a U.N. commission has reportedly found.

“In both incidents, the Russian Air Force did not direct the attacks at a specific military objective, amounting to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas,” the report states, according to Reuters.

Russia is the Syrian government’s strong ally in the rough 9-year civil war that has ravaged the western Asia country.

The report, released Monday by the U.N. commission, also described alleged abuses by rebels allied to Turkey during an assault on Kurdish-held areas. It also states those alleged assaults might also be liable for war crimes if the rebels were taking their orders from Turkish military forces.

Paulo Pinheiro, the commission’s chairman, said U.N. investigators have received 200 requests from judicial authorities worldwide for information on crimes committed during Syria’s war, Reuters also reported.