Syria on balance

 Syria on balance
A UK-based monitoring group called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has claimed that at least 53 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in..

A UK-based monitoring group called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has claimed that at least 53 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in east Syrian village of Al-Shafah.

Background

Russia has supported the internationally recognized government of Syria since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011: politically, with military aid, and since 30 September 2015 also through direct military involvement. The latter marked the first time since the end of the Cold War that Russia entered an armed conflict outside the borders of the former Soviet Union.

Russia has targeted not only ISIS strongholds but also other groups waging a war against the Syrian government. The intervention initially began with air strikes engineered by the Russian Defence.

In 2016, observers and human rights groups noted that in the span of six months, 2,000 civilians were killed a result of air raids. Moscow has insisted that its raids were only carried out in territories occupied by militants.

Reports emerged in 2017 that the Syrian government had used Sarin gas against its own citizens. Moscow has been criticized for being complicit in the matter.

In July 2017, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.

 

Analysis

A UK-based monitoring group called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has claimed that at least 53 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in east Syrian village of Al-Shafah.

"The toll increased after removing the debris in a long day of rescue operation," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP, adding the strikes hit "residential buildings". d residential neighbourhoods of Douma, Misraba, Ein Tarma, Medeira and Harasta

According to the group, attacks on Eastern Ghouta that has taken place over the last two weeks has resulted in the deaths of at least 100 people. Of the civilians who were killed, the casualties also included children. The attacks were specifically targeted regions of Douma, Misraba, Ein Tarma, Medeira and Harasta. These neighborhoods have been occupied by the government’s opposition. The U.N. is set to resume peace talks between the government and the Syrian opposition in Geneva on Nov. 28. The opposition announced last week it was prepared to enter into direct talks with the government without preconditions.

"I think the main goal is make rebels feel even weaker ahead of the UN talks next week," Guney said.

The U.N. says there are some 350,000 people in need of immediate humanitarian aid in Eastern Ghouta. More than 340,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

In November 2017, US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam. They issued a joint statement noting that Russia and the United States would continue efforts to keep fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria. They also stated that military solution was not the key to resolving the conflict in Syria and called on all parties to take part in the Geneva process.

Assessment

Our assessment is that the upcoming talks to be held at the United Nations will play a key role in deciding the future of Syria and its myriad of conflicts. The region is plagued with violence and the lives of millions of Syrians still living in the nation continues to be at risk due to continuous air raids. 

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