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Airstrikes by Syrian government war crimes: Amnesty

 The Syrian government committed "war crimes" in the airstrikes launched in the northeastern province of al-Raqqa in November 2014, killing 115 civilians, 14 of whom were children, according to a report released by Amnesty International on Tuesday.

IANS| Updated: Mar 17, 2015, 18:57 PM IST
Airstrikes by Syrian government war crimes: Amnesty

London: The Syrian government committed "war crimes" in the airstrikes launched in the northeastern province of al-Raqqa in November 2014, killing 115 civilians, 14 of whom were children, according to a report released by Amnesty International on Tuesday.

The report, entitled "Al-Raqqa under attack: Syrian air forces strikes against civilians", documented a series of airstrikes carried out between November 11 and 29 of last year, Efe news agency reported.

The incidents included attacks on a mosque and another on a crowded market, along with other buildings not being used for military purposes, the document added.

According to the report, the Syrian government claimed that the attacks were meant to target jihadis and bases of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group; however Amnesty revealed that none of the objectives could be conclusively verified.

Philip Luther, director of the NGO`s Middle East and North Africa Programme, said that President Bashar al-Assad`s administration has not respected international laws, calling the airstrikes "ruthless".

"Some of these attacks give every indication of being war crimes," Luther said.

The Syrian government has carried out repeated attacks on civilian areas without clearly identifying military targets, a "blatant violation of the requirement to distinguish between civilian and military targets", he added.

March 16 marked the fourth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict, which has resulted in the death of 220,000 people, and the displacement of more than four million refugees, according to the UN.