‘The ultimate war crime… is the war of aggression itself’
An air strike on a refugee camp in the Syrian town of Sarmada, which is close to the Turkish border, has left at least 30 people dead and dozens more injured. The camp provided shelter for thousands of people who fled the fighting in the surrounding Aleppo and Hama provinces.
The Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs saying he was horrified by the news and is calling for an immediate independent investigation into the incident.
The Syrian Army claims it had no connection to the attack.
Neverthless, some media have been quick to point the finger at President Assad's government forces, but the territory is controlled by anti-government forces, which can also include terrorist groups, such as Jabhat-al-Nusra.
RT: There has been finger pointing at President Assad for this, but what motives would he have for targeting refugees?
Dan Glazebrook: I think it is unlikely that he would have any motives for doing that. It is quite important not to speculate on who is responsible before we have any concrete real evidence about this. It is something the Western media likes to do very much – make these insinuations about who is to blame.
RT: Russia and Syria are not the only countries with their air forces in the region... Who else could be behind this attack?
DG: In the area you have a whole coalition. The US loves to go on about its coalition. The campus is quite close to the Turkish border, Turkish planes have been operating there. US planes have been operating, British planes... So there is any number of possibilities if indeed it was an airstrike from air, not a ground missile.
It is dangerous to speculate, because what often happens: the insinuations get planted in people’s minds in the lack of evidence. Then once evidence and the truth starts to emerge that kind of gets buried, and what’s left stuck in people’s minds is the insinuation of who was responsible. We’ve seen this many times, the Syrian government being blamed for atrocities. This is part of this kind of drip-drip strategy of the Western media to make this correlation in people’s minds between atrocities and the Syrian government. When the real correlation is in fact between atrocities and war. Atrocities are committed on all sides, in all wars.
When we’re talking about responsibility, of course it is absolutely important to find out who was responsible for each particular atrocity in a war, but we also have to think when we talk about responsibility who is actually responsible for bringing war to Syria in the first place for inserting foreign fighters, for sponsoring a foreign invasion, and inserting foreign fighters into that country. And ultimately, who is responsible for bringing war and instability to the Middle East in the first place? Because it was the Nuremberg Tribunals which said that the ultimate war crime - and that contains within it all the other war crimes - is actually a war of aggression itself. And sometimes I think this gets lost.
RT: Speaking of reaction, Russia yesterday held a classical concert in Palmyra and it has drawn some criticism. What's your take on that?
DG: Well, this is your taste. Obviously, Philip Hammond, UK foreign Secretary said it was in poor taste. In fact, this really shows Hammond’s inability to accept that death squads that they have been supporting, the anti-government militias they’ve been supporting - with ISIS chief amongst them - have lost control of Palmyra.
Interesting, even the US grudgingly acknowledged that it was probably a good thing that Palmyra had returned to the hands of the Syrian government forces, rather than being in the hands of ISIS. British government made no such acknowledgement, and this really shows where they stand.
They would rather see the amphitheater in Palmyra being used for executions and murders to send a message to Syrian soldiers that they should be cowed and they should submit to the foreign backed forces. Of course Hammond would rather see it being used for that. But in actual fact what is happening there is a celebration of the liberation of that territory by the people of Syria, which has taken place with the solidarity of the Russians. And what could be more appropriate in this very important site of cultural heritage to have a celebration of the culture of the peoples, and of those people who joined in solidarity with the Syrians, in claiming back that city for common humanity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.