Damascus demands international probe into US-led coalition’s crimes in Syria


The Syrian government has asked the United Nations Security Council to conduct an “international investigation” into crimes perpetrated against ordinary Syrians by the so-called US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters addressed to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council Ma Zhaoxu on Thursday, stated that the mass graves uncovered in the northwestern city of Raqqah were proof of bloody carnage committed by the military alliance against innocent civilians, and its systematic attacks on Syria’s sovereignty, unity and integrity.

The letters added that the US-led coalition was using internationally banned weapons, including white phosphorus bombs, in bombing residential neighborhoods in Raqqah, Dayr al-Zawr, Aleppo and Hasakah provinces.

“A number of mass graves were recently discovered in the city of Raqqah. The bodies of more than 4,000 people, mostly women, children and the elderly, were found under the rubble of US-led airstrikes, especially in the White Garden district, al-Rashid Stadium and the city zoo. A mass grave was unearthed in an agricultural land next to the Children’s Hospital and the National Hospital, which contained the remains of 2,500 women, children and the elderly,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.

“Another mass grave was uncovered yesterday in the Panorama district, containing more than 1,500 bodies of civilians who had been killed by the strikes of the US-led coalition,” it pointed out.

The letters added that “the tragic discovery of these mass graves only amount to two percent of the destruction that this criminal alliance has wreaked on Raqqah. We (the Syrian government) have repeatedly pointed to the bloody massacre being committed by the US-led coalition against Syrian people. This coalition transferred members of Daesh terror network to Dayr al-Zawr in a bid to fight the Syrian army and complete its plan to undermine Syria’s unity and sovereignty.”

“The Syrian government strongly condemns attacks by the US-led coalition, as well as its war crimes and massacre [perpetrated] against Syrian civilians. It also denounces the failure of some countries to withdraw from the alliance and not allow the crimes to be written in their names,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry stressed.

The letters then censured the silence of some countries and international bodies over the killing of thousands of civilians in Raqqah and the complete destruction of the city.

“Syria calls on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities as regards maintaining international peace and security, [and] to immediately stop the crimes of the US-led coalition against Syrian people and to prevent their recurrence.

“It also calls for an international investigation into the crimes and massacre perpetrated in the city of Raqqah. Damascus urges the Security Council to put an end to the aggressive presence of US and other illegal foreign forces on Syrian soil, and to prevent them from implementing their plans to undermine the unity and territorial integrity of Syria,” the ministry concluded.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

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