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Member of the Syrian Democratic Force walks in the middle of rubble in Raqqa (Rodi Said / Reuters)
Member of the Syrian Democratic Force walks in the middle of rubble in Raqqa (Rodi Said / Reuters)

The bloody U.S. involvement in Syria: What you didn't know

Indiscriminate bombings, war crimes and complete destruction of civilian settlements are just a few of the results of the U.S. intervention in Syria.

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In both war and politics, hypocrisy is always the order of the day.

While the United States pointed out and loudly denounced the atrocities committed by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, its campaign against the settlements of the Islamic State (often referred to as ISIS) in the city of Raqqa claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians in "indiscriminate bombings," committing possible war crimes, said Amnesty International on Tuesday.

Through a report titled "No Place to Run. Trapped in Raqqa, Syria," the human rights organization exposed an extensive investigation carried out during the month of February in the city, where for two weeks members of the group visited 42 affected areas and interviewed 112 witnesses and survivors, according to Reuters.

"The four-month military operation to oust the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) from Raqqa, its self-declared capital in Syria, killed hundreds of civilians, injured many more and laid waste to the city between June and August. 2017,” the report says. "Residents were trapped as fighting raged on Raqqa’s streets while constant barrage of air bombardments and artillery strikes rocked the city day and night."

While U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis promised "a war of annihilation" against the Islamic State before the start of the military campaign, the ones who really paid the price were the innocent civilians.

Both the United States and its allies (the United Kingdom and France) would then have "violated the international humanitarian law," according to Amnesty International.

"When so many civilians are killed in attack after attack, something is clearly wrong," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser. "And to make this tragedy worse, so many months later the incidents have not been investigated. The victims deserve justice."

The countries involved in the military campaign have argued that "when you have an enemy that uses non-combatants as collateral damage, it’s very difficult when you fight an enemy like that to completely avoid any casualties," said U.S. Army Colonel Sean Ryan, spokesman for the coalition.

However, as reported by EFE, the jihadists only dominate 3 percent of the Syrian territory and maintain presence only in the provinces of Deraa, Al Hasaka, and Deir al Zur "after having lost control of seven other provinces since 2017.”

That is why the magnitude of the U.S. attack seems so disproportionate.

And the cruelty does not end there.

On Monday, at least 11 civilians were killed and several were injured in northeastern Syria because of the bombings that continue to be carried out by the coalition, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

So far there are several bodies still trapped under the rubble because "the bombing lasted throughout the day on Monday," The Objective reported (in Spanish); several missing persons could add to the death toll.

"The objective of the warplanes has been the town of Al Yazaa, in the south of Al Hasaka, an area where the DSF (Democratic Syrian Forces) - an armed alliance led by Kurdish militias and supported by Washington - develops an offensive against the Islamic State," the report continued. The attacks have intensified in this area to "deliberately destroy civilian houses, especially in the villages where the inhabitants refuse to join the Forces.”

And the U.S. intervention is also political.

Not only has the U.S. allowed the massive destruction of the Arab country, it also announced a boycott of Tuesday's session in the Conference on Disarmament, an organization which Syria assumed the presidency of last week, arguing that "Syria is using its presidency of the body to 'normalize' the regime,” according to the Straits Times.

"Based on Syria’s repeated attempts last week to use its presidency of the Conference on Disarmament to normalize the regime and its unacceptable and dangerous behavior, we are not participating in today's session," said Robert Wood, U.S. ambassador before the body based in Geneva, in a statement.

The Conference of Disarmament consists of a rotating system of leadership established decades ago among its 65 member states, which follows the alphabetical order of the names of the countries in English.

No one could possibly defend the macabre attacks of the Damascus government against its people—between chemical weapons of chlorine and sarin, and the constant destruction of the cities taken by the rebels to the government since 2011—but the use of the circumstances by countries as the United States and Russia has displaced the civil community, exchanging it for access to resources on Syrian soil and control over the door to the Mediterranean.

 

READ HERE: "A brief summary of the conflict in Syria".

 

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