US: Renewed Russian strikes break law
THE United States has strongly condemned Russia’s renewed bombing campaign in Syria and warned that its strikes on civilian targets break international law.
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said Washington had received reports that the latest Russian and Syrian regime strikes had hit hospitals and clinics.
Earlier, Moscow said it had launched a “major operation” in support of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, flying jets off its aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian warplanes were hitting rebel targets in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Homs.
Idlib is largely controlled by a rebel coalition that includes Fateh al-Sham, the former Al-Nusra Front, which both Washington and Moscow regard as an Al-Qaeda front.
But Ms Trudeau said on November 15 that initial reports suggested civilian targets were among those hit and that the Russian-backed siege of eastern Aleppo was choking off aid shipments.
She accused Moscow of “letting eastern Aleppo residents starve while seeking praise from the international community for halting indiscriminate strikes”.
US President Barack Obama’s administration has been talking to Russia about ways to rein in Mr Assad’s forces and find a ceasefire in Syria’s brutal civil war.
But Russia’s President Vladimir Putin insists Moscow’s intervention is aimed at protecting a legitimate government against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. –