https://www.rt.com/news/554270-syrian-government-un-investigate-raqqa/UN to investigate allegations of atrocities committed by US-led forces in Syria

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If a ‘rules-based world order’ is to be maintained, the rules must apply to everyone

As we can all admit, the international order is in disarray, and a formal investigation into allegations of atrocities committed by the United States in Syria must be a prerequisite for upholding international law.

According to a Tuesday report by Press TV, the Syrian government has sent letters to UN officials requesting such a formal investigation into alleged atrocities committed by the US-led coalition in the city of Raqqa.

“The time has come to shed light on the humanitarian, political and legal aspects of the case,” The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in two identical messages, addressed to UN Secretary-General António Guterres and to the rotating UN Security Council President Barbara Woodward.

The ministry noted that virtually the entire city was destroyed by US bombing that took place between June and October 2017, killing thousands of civilians.

As the Associated Press reported at the time, that city’s destruction raised serious questions about: “the price of victory.” AP even flew a drone through Raqqa to highlight the extent of the damage, which had left the once thriving city little more than a skeleton. Anyway, those images were really disturbing.

“More than 80 percent of the city (Raqqa) is estimated to be uninhabitable as a result of the fighting,Linda Tom, a Damascus official at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told Aron Lund of the Century Foundation at the time.

The Syrian side report also noted several other examples of similar alleged atrocities by US-led forces, such as in northeast Syria, between 2018 and 2019, in operations led by the US and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It noted a special case in Baghuz when US fighter jets reportedly killed at least 70 civilians, including women and children, who were fleeing clashes.

There is certainly a lot to process in America’s role in Syria. The years have uncovered numerous credible allegations of war crimes and other atrocities committed by US bombers and military personnel on the ground, as well as their various proxies.

There is also the fact that America’s presence in Syria, which is without the consent of the UN-recognized Syrian government, is a clear violation of basic international law – and its role in the meddling in the country is clearly at odds. with international laws regarding non-intervention and crimes against peace.

But what happened in Raqqa must be seriously and impartially investigated if the UN and international law are to make any difference. The situation, and the virtual media blackout about it in the Western press, at least in terms of the magnitude of what the Americans were doing there, emphasize clear double standards that completely undermine the principles of multilateralism and international law.

It is not difficult to see how repeated violations of international law, including international humanitarian law, the law of war, and basic laws of interference with sovereign countries, create an inherently chaotic world order. The United States talks all the time about the “rules-based world order” while constantly and deliberately ignoring rules.

Russian army delivers first humanitarian aid to Raqqa, left in ruins by US-led coalition (VIDEO)

The situation in Ukraine is an example of this. For example, I believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear and easily recognizable violation of international law. However, the law has already proved meaningless when the United States continues to violate international law.

The prospect of a formally West-oriented Ukraine was one of Russia’s major national security concerns before the start of the “special operation,‘ and America’s actions prove that this threat is more than hypothetical.

We also see that not addressing perpetrators leads to more criminal activities. Since Raqqa, the US has been credibly accused of committing numerous war crimes in places such as, again, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

The operation in Raqqa also followed a massacre operation in the Iraqi city of Mosul by the US-led coalition, which was even fraught with war crimes charges by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

WATCH Russian military police secure another abandoned US outpost in Syria

The US claims it has internal mechanisms to help victims of its “collateral damage” or to rebuke those responsible for wrongdoing, but this is soaking wet. Recall that the US had just finished conducting an internal assessment in November 2021 of a drone bombing in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, several months earlier. It found that there was no misconduct or negligence and therefore did not recommend disciplinary action – which is a complete mockery of the law of war and of the victims.

Here’s another notable example. In Mosul, a US Navy SEAL, chief of special operations Edward Gallagher, committed such horrific acts that he was convicted by his fellow soldiers for indiscriminately shooting civilians and even stabbing to death an imprisoned ISIS soldier estimated to be 15 years old. . He was later pardoned by then-President Donald Trump for these acts — oh, and he also imposed sanctions on members of the International Criminal Court who were investigating U.S. soldiers for war crimes, even though they were lifted last April.

We must all admit that it is unacceptable for entire cities to be destroyed without regard for civilian infrastructure or the lives of non-combatants, in a kind of strategy akin to Dresden’s in World War II, as were attempts to to downplay. The UN must take the allegations of atrocities in Raqqa seriously if it is to maintain its legitimacy as an institution and ensure that international law has serious meaning in today’s world.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.



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