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29 Sep, 2017 01:01

Damascus urges UN to stop US-led coalition ‘war crimes’ & to expel alliance from Syria

Damascus urges UN to stop US-led coalition ‘war crimes’ & to expel alliance from Syria

The UN Security Council should take “urgent measures” to stop the atrocities and human rights violations committed in Syria by the US-led coalition, the Syrian foreign ministry has said, denouncing the coalition and its unwelcome presence as “illegal.”

Damascus has demanded a halt in the “systematic” US-led airstrikes which the government believes only aids the terrorists while at the same time claiming endless civilian lives and destroying homes and vital infrastructure in Syria, SANA reported.

In identical foreign ministry letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, Damascus highlighted two recent examples of the “illegal” and destructive power of US-led air raids.

Damascus said the international coalition’s jets used white phosphorus bombs to strike the outskirts of al-Sour town, located in the northeastern countryside of Deir Ez-zor province. At least three civilians were killed in the bombardment, with five others wounded. Wednesday’s strike also destroyed a number of homes and other structures.

While white phosphorus and similar incendiary weapons against residential areas are banned under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), its use against combatants is not specifically banned, which allows some nations, including the US, to deploy such munitions in war zones.

Human Rights groups repeatedly condemned the use of such weapons by the US-led coalition in both Iraq and Syria and urged the parties to desist from using white phosphorus bombs in populated areas.

In an incident a day earlier, the letter noted, US-led jets conducted strikes on Markada town, in southern al-Hasakah Governorate, in northeastern Syria. At least three Syrian civilians were killed in addition to six members of an Iraqi family which settled in Syria after fleeing the battle of Mosul in the neighboring country. 

READ MORE: US-led coalition aircraft strike Syrian army positions, kill 62 soldiers – military 

Calling the coalition’s attacks “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the Syrian government believes the US-led bombardment only aids the terrorists on the ground.

The letters also reminded UN diplomats that roughly a year ago, US-led coalition jets bombed Syrian government forces positions near then-besieged Deir ez-Zor, killing over 60 troops which paved the way for an Islamic State offensive immediately after the strike. After initial denials, the US said the series of strikes, conducted for over an hour, were carried out by “mistake.”

The ministry also underlined that some members of the US-led coalition supports the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group financially and logistically.

Syria has reiterated its call for the US-led coalition to be dissolved. The letters also renewed Damascus' demand for the UN Security Council to take immediate action to stop the “barbarous crimes” and “gross violations” of international law.

Damascus also urged members of the coalition – at least those who genuinely respect human rights and international law – to leave the American-led alliance.

READ MORE: Death of Russian general in Syria is result of US hypocrisy – Moscow

Syria “calls on these countries, which we got used to hearing their voices and demands for an end of all forms of aggression and for respect of human rights and the international humanitarian law, to withdraw from this coalition that has marred [these countries’] reputation and shed plenty of the Syrians’ blood in their name,” the communique read.