3 April 2020

syria

Militants left over 40 tons of chemical weapons in Syria: Russia

KONFRONTASI - Militant groups have abandoned chemical arms production facilities and over 40 tons of chemical weapons after retreating from different conflict zones in Syria, a Russian defense ministry official says.

“More than 40 tons of poisonous substances were found on the territories, liberated from terrorists,” Igor Kirillov, the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces, said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russia and U.S. air strikes caused mass civilian deaths in Syria: U.N.

KONFRONTASI- Air strikes by Russia and a U.S.-led coalition killed civilians in Syria on a large scale last year, while the Assad government carried out unlawful chemical weapon attacks in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Tuesday.

Islamic State fighters and other insurgent groups committed war crimes including deadly attacks on civilians and using them as human shields, the investigators said in their latest report covering six months through January 15.

During the period, “victims of the Syrian conflict have suffered greatly as violence countrywide re-escalated to new heights,” the U.N. Commission of Inquiry said.

“(Syrian) government forces continued to use chemical weapons against armed group fighters in eastern Ghouta,” it said in its report.

Among other key findings, it said that an air strike by a “Russian fixed-wing aircraft” using unguided weapons last November hit a market killing at least 84 people in Atareb, west of Aleppo, in a “de-escalation zone” declared by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

It found no evidence that the Russian strike had deliberately targeted the market, but said “this attack may amount to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks resulting in death and injury to civilians”, the first time it has explicitly implicated Moscow in possible war crimes.

And three U.S.-led coalition strikes on a school near Raqqa in March 2017 killed 150 residents - roughly five times the toll acknowledged by the Pentagon, which said at the time that dozens of militants and not civilians were killed.

The U.N. investigators found no evidence that Islamic State fighters were at the site, and said the U.S.-led coalition had violated international law by failing in its duty to protect civilians.

The independent investigators called on all sides to allow access to besieged areas and all detainees. Justice must be served in any peace deal ending the conflict soon entering its eighth year, they said.

The report is based on 500 confidential interviews conducted with victims and witnesses abroad or in Syria via social media. The Assad government has never let the team into the country.

“Vital civilian infrastructure has been decimated by repeated attacks on medical facilities, schools and markets. Humanitarian aid has been instrumentalized as a weapon of war with siege warfare and denial of life-giving assistance used to compel civilian communities and parties to the conflict alike to surrender or starve,” it said.

Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against insurgents in eastern Ghouta, including chlorine three times in July, and in Harasta on the western edge of the zone in November, the report said.

“The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law regardless of the presence of a valid military target, including when used against enemy fighters,” it said.

The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons, saying it surrendered its stockpiles after signing the global ban in 2013.

First aid convoy reaches Syria's Ghouta, stripped of medical supplies

KONFRONTASI-An aid convoy began to cross into Syria’s eastern Ghouta on Monday, bringing the first relief to the besieged enclave since one of the deadliest government assaults of the seven-year war began two weeks ago, but stripped of vital medical supplies.

A senior U.N. official accompanying the convoy said he was“not happy” to hear loud shelling near the crossing point into eastern Ghouta despite an agreement that the aid would be delivered under peaceful conditions.

“We need to be assured that we will be able to deliver the humanitarian assistance under good conditions,” Ali al-Za’tari told Reuters at the crossing point.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official said government authorities had removed most medical material from U.N. vehicles, preventing surgical kits, insulin, dialysis equipment and other supplies from reaching the enclave of 400,000 people.

Za’tari said the convoy had been scaled back from providing food for 70,000 people to providing for 27,500. The United Nations says Syria has agreed to let it bring the rest of the food for the full 70,000 in a second convoy in three days.

“The convoy is not sufficient,” Za’tari said.

President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Sunday to continue a military push into the biggest remaining opposition stronghold near Damascus, saying the offensive did not contradict five-hour ceasefires arranged each day by his main ally Russia.

A wider, full ceasefire backed by the U.N. Security Council has not come into effect during the campaign, which began with massive government air strikes two weeks ago and has continued in recent days with a ground assault.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the death toll from the offensive had exceeded 700 people in two weeks of intense bombardment on the densely populated region of farmland and towns.

Pro-Assad forces have made sudden advances into eastern Ghouta in recent days, capturing a third of the area, the Observatory said, and bringing them close to cutting it in two. Late on Sunday, a rebel official said factions in eastern Ghouta were working together to prepare to retake lost ground.

Korban Tewas Akibat Serangan di Ghouta Timur Capai 600 Orang

KONFRONTASI-Warga sipil yang tewas di Ghouta Timur sejak Suriah dan sekutunya, Rusia, mengintensifkan pengeboman di daerah kantong pemberontak itu pada 18 Februari sudah mencapai 600 orang pada Rabu (28/2) menurut kelompok pemantau.

Observatorium Suriah untuk Hak Asasi Manusia yang berbasis di Inggris menyatakan bahwa 147 dari 601 warga sipil tewas, kebanyakan akibat serangan udara, adalah anak-anak.

KAMMI Urges the Indonesian Government initiating an International Solidarity Movement for Syrian Peace

KONFRONTASI - Humanitarian crisis is getting worse in Syria. It has not been lost from our memory that thousands of Syrian people became victims of prolonged wars in some regions, particularly in Aleppo and its surroundings. Now, the world is shocked by the deaths of hundreds of Syrians. Also, many of them are injured including children and women. Today, their lives are still being threatened. East Ghouta is a new battle of war between the regime of government and its political opponents.

Syrian government ground forces attack Ghouta despite Russian truce plan

KONFRONTASI- Syrian government forces launched a ground assault on the edge of the rebel-held eastern Ghouta enclave on Wednesday, seeking to gain territory despite a Russian plan for five-hour daily ceasefires, a war monitor and sources on both sides said.

Hundreds of people have died in 11 days of bombing of the eastern Ghouta, a swathe of towns and farms outside Damascus that is the last major rebel-held area near the capital. The onslaught has been one of the fiercest of the civil war, now entering its eighth year.

The U.N. Security Council, including President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest ally Russia, passed a resolution on Saturday calling for a 30-day countrywide ceasefire, but it has not come into effect, with Moscow and Damascus saying they are battling members of banned terrorist groups excluded from the truce.

Russia has instead proposed daily five-hour local ceasefires to establish what it calls a humanitarian corridor so aid can enter the enclave and civilians and wounded can be evacuated. The first such truce took place on Tuesday but quickly collapsed when bombing and shelling resumed after a short lull.

Moscow and Damascus have accused rebels of shelling the corridor to prevent people leaving. Rebels deny this, and say people will not leave eastern Ghouta because they fear the government. A senior U.S. general accused Moscow of acting as “both arsonist and firefighter” by failing to rein in Assad.

Wednesday’s ground assault targeted the Hawsh al-Dawahra area at the eastern edge of the rebel-held area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, reported advances by the government forces in the area, describing it as the resumption of an assault that first began on Feb. 25. It said rebels had inflicted heavy losses on government forces.

An official with one of the rebel groups in eastern Ghouta said fighters were battling to repel an attempted incursion, and characterized the battle as “back and forth”.

A commander in the military alliance that backs Assad said an elite unit of the Syrian army, the Tiger Force, was taking part in the assault, but the advances so far were small.

With no sign of decisive international pressure to stop the attack, eastern Ghouta appears on course to eventually meet the same fate as other areas won back by the government in lengthy, punishing assaults, where rebels and civilians who oppose Assad were finally evacuated in negotiated withdrawals.

Damascus appears to be applying tried and tested military means, combining air strikes and bombardment with ground assaults, as it did to win back eastern Aleppo in 2016.

U.N. says no halt to fighting in Syria's eastern Ghouta despite Russian truce

KONFRONTASI- Fighting raged on in the eastern Ghouta district of Syria on Tuesday, the United Nations said, despite a five-hour ceasefire called by President Bashar al-Assad’s ally Russia.

“We have reports this morning there is continuous fighting in eastern Ghouta,” UN humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke told a briefing in Geneva. “Clearly the situation on the ground is not such that convoys can go in or medical evacuations can go out.”

Syria's Ghouta residents 'wait to die' as more bombs fall

KONFRONTASI-Residents of Syria’s eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their “turn to die” on Wednesday, amid one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus.

At least 38 people died on Wednesday. At least 310 people have been killed in the district since Sunday night and more than 1,550 injured, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

Syrian rebels down Russian plane, kill pilot

KONFRONTASI-Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane on Saturday and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russia’s defense ministry and Syrian rebels said.

The incident took place in an area of Syria’s northern Idlib province that has seen heavy air strikes and fighting on the ground between government forces backed by Russia and Iran, and rebels who oppose President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia: US actions in Syria either provocative or ill-informed

KONFRONTASI-Russia has slammed US actions in Syria that “encourage separatist sentiments among Kurds” as either a provocation or ill-informed after Turkey launched a major operation against US-backed militants in the Arab country.

"Washington has actively encouraged and continues to encourage separatist sentiments among Kurds," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"This is either a lack of understanding of the situation or an absolutely conscious provocation," he added.

Pages