On March 2nd, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published a report suggesting that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) (and it’s Russian supporters) had carried out airstrikes on civilian infrastructure such as medical facilities in its fight against the al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
Turkish media lost no time in immediately accusing both the SAA and its Russian support of carrying out war crimes while fighting the “moderate opposition.”
The UN, at least, admits that there are terrorists in Idlib, as Ankara’s information network entirely refuses to even say so.
“As battles waged over strategic areas in southern Idlib, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham terrorists attempted to tighten their grip over the population. Activists, journalists, and civilians continue to be unlawfully detained for criticizing the group’s mounting interference. Pro-government forces also carried out aerial and ground attacks in southern Idlib against terrorist organizations, striking civilian infrastructure, including protected objects such as medical facilities. Access to medical care for the wounded was thus undermined, while attacks on women’s and children’s hospitals prevented pregnant women and new mothers from receiving medical care. Between May 2019 and early January 2020, these attacks caused the displacement of 700,000 civilians.“
At the same time, the report alleges that any conditions for return of civilians in liberated areas remain absent, in spite of all the videos and footage presented of highways being cleaned and other infrastructure being made available for use, with people celebrating in the streets and the Aleppo International Airport receives its first flight in 8 years.
Turkish media “forgot” to mention their forces being mentioned in the report as well, not only regarding Idlib but for its fight against the US-backed Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria and the waves of displacement its intervention had caused.
The period covered for Idlib focuses on HTS and the SAA, since Turkey hadn’t deployed so much equipment yet, since the date of publishing is January 28th, and the heavy deployments of troops and equipment began from February 2nd onwards.
Regardless, the report was categorically rejected by the Kremlin, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
In addition, the report does not mention terror activities in the area and so cannot be considered impartial, he said.
“We decisively reject such accusations. They were made just a day or two after the terrorists in Idlib began their campaign against Syrian troops,” said Peskov.
“It is clear that no commission could get reliable information about what is happening on the ground, and, of course, there is nothing said about the offensive actions of terrorist groups, which, at least, makes any judgments of this commission one-sided.”
And, indeed, the report mentions HTS being there, and it is armed, but specifically does not say what the facilities were used for, and provides no evidence that they were even struck.
To fact-check the information in the UN report, the Russian military carried out a survey, with geolocation to the specific areas that were allegedly struck.
Below are images of all the “completely destroyed” medical facilities from the report, with the geolocation data:
The ambulance complex and the clinic of Maaret-en-Nuuman – no damage to the building was found, now assistance is being provided to the SAA soldiers who were injured. According to the report, it is entirely destroyed:
Clinic in Kafer Ruma – no damage detected:
Estern Deere Medical Center – shelling damage, as per the report it is entirely razed:
Al-Salaam City Hospital – No Destruction Detected:
National Hospital of the City of Maaret-en-Nuuman – multiple spots of damage were recorded as a result of artillery shelling (and not aircraft, as stated in the report):
*All posts on behalf of Sputnik News are made by Gordon Duff and Jim W. Dean