Saturday, 22 July 2017

US and allies must pay for destruction of Syria

'Illegitimate coalition' must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN


'Illegitimate coalition' must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike. A U.S.-led military coalition has been bombing Islamic State © Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

RT,
21 July, 2017


Syria wants the US and its allies to pay for the destruction of Syrian infrastructure and to bear legal responsibility for "illegitimately" bombing civilian targets, Damascus has told the UN, demanding that the American-led coalition strikes stop.

The Syrian "Government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility for compensation," the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations saidin letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council.


FILE PHOTO: Raqqa, Syria © Nour Fourat


Stating that the ongoing US-led anti-terrorist airstrikes "continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians," Damascus claimed that the bombings had led to a "near-total destruction" of homes and vital infrastructure, including the "utter destruction" of oil and gas facilities.


The attacks, along with US and EU-imposed economic restrictions on Syria "are impeding the maintenance of those economic facilities and jeopardizing the prospects for development and reconstruction" in the country, the letters, written last week, said.

To support their claims, Syria'correspondence referred to two recent cases where the coalition's jets destroyed oil and gas facilities. Damascus also said the May 27 bombardment of Hasu Albu Awf village in the Hasakah governorate, "completely" destroyed many homes and killed at least eight civilians, "most of them children."

On Friday, the US-led coalition announced the demolition of a number of oil and gas facilities in various parts of Syria which allegedly belonged to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.

Targeting the terrorists' illegal oil trade and jihadist infrastructure has been a cornerstone of both American and Russian strategies in Syria. But while Moscow coordinates its strikes with the Syrian government, the Washington-led operation has been harshly criticized for its indiscriminate bombing practices and doing so without communicating with Syrian government forces.

Damascus' letters to the UN once again underlined that the American air campaign is being conducted in violation of international law, as it lacks any form of consent or authorization from the Syrian government.

Raqqa, known as the stronghold of IS, has been the main focus of the US operation in Syria, where Washington is guiding and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

While the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve this month confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the US-led air campaign in Syria and Iraq, Airwars, a UK-based group that monitors airstrikes and civilian casualties, claimed this week that it tracked “more than 700 likely civilian deaths” in Raqqa alone – even before the battle for the city began in June.


Syrian War Report – July 21, 2017: Fierce Clashes Between Army And ISIS


Intense fighting is ongoing between government forces and ISIS terrorists in the area of the Homs-Palmyra highway and near the border with Iraq.

According to pro-government sources, 30 ISIS members were killed and over 50 were injured during clashes in the area of Humaymah near the border with Iraq. 2 Syrian soldiers were killed as a result of the ISIS attack at the Al-Musheirefah Hill in the eastern Homs countryside. At the same time, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies advanced north of the Homs-Palmyra road and captured the Al-Alam Hill south of Taliaa al-Gharbia.

Meanwhile, Russian airstrikes destroyed at least 3 ISIS vehicles in the area of Jub Al-Abied east of Salamiyah.

According to local sources, government forces are going to resume the operation in the eastern Hama countryside within few days. The SAA, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Desert Hawks Brigade still see the liberation of Uqayrabat as a key part of the wider effort against ISIS in central Syria.

Right now, government forces cannot push to Deir Ezzor because of a high number of ISIS units operating in the rear of its logistical lines. Sukhna is another point that has to be liberated to resolve the situation.

An intense fighting is ongoing in eastern Damascus where the SAA and the NDF have been attempting to pressure Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam on multiple fronts. The main clashes are ongoing in the Ayn Tarma area. However, sporadic firefights were also reported in the northeastern part of the pocket. According to pro-militant sources, over 30 government soldiers were killed in the recent clashes.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition, is storming the neighborhoods of Nezlit Shehada and Al-Shaddadi in Raqqah city. According to pro-SDF sources, over 27 ISIS members were killed in the recent clashes and an IED plant was captured. According to ISIS, 8 SDF members were killed recently.

The battle for Raqqah has turned into a very complicated task for the US-backed force. While there is little doubt that the city will be liberated, the question is how much time and manpower will this effort take?


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