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Syria seeks probe into US destruction of Raqqah, war crimes in letter to UN

In this file photo, a militant from the US-sponsored and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands amid the ruins of buildings near Clock Square in Syria’s northern city of Raqqah. (By Reuters)

Syria has censured the US-led military coalition’s atrocities committed on the pretext of fighting the Daesh (ISIS) Takfiri terrorist group in the northern city of Raqqah, stating that the international community has never known about the full scale of the tragedy.

“The time has come to shed light on the humanitarian, political, and legal aspects of the matter,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote in two identical messages addressed to UN Secretary General António Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council, Barbara Woodward.

The ministry added that the US-led coalition’s aerial attacks in Raqqah took place between June and October 2017 and resulted in the full destruction of the city and the death of thousands of civilians, whose corpses were buried under debris.

It added that similar war crimes were perpetrated by the US-led coalition and the US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) between 2018 and 2019 in the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz as the area was utterly destroyed.

The ministry also invoked a March 18, 2019 airstrike in which US fighter jets killed at least 70 civilians, including women and children, as they were trying to flee Baghuz to save their lives.

It stressed that the enormous volume of damages inflicted upon public and private properties as well as critical infrastructure and the number of casualties in Raqqah, Ayn al-Arab, and Baghuz prove that the US and its allies have committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity across Syria.

The Syrian foreign ministry emphasized it will continue to raise at international organizations the destruction and deliberate targeting of civilians by the US-led coalition.

The United States and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh terrorists. The terrorists had emerged as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its regional meddling or enlarge it in scale.

The military interference was surprisingly slow in confronting the terrorists, despite the sheer size of the coalition that had enlisted scores of Washington’s allied countries. 

Numerous reports and regional officials would, meanwhile, point to the US’s role in transferring Daesh elements throughout the region and even airlifting supplies to the terror outfit.

In 2017 and in the height of the coalition’s military campaign in Syria, Russia drew a parallel between the destruction that was being caused by the US-led forces and the wholesale bombing campaign on the German city of Dresden during World War II.

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