Russia accused of committing ‘war crimes’ in Syria

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Syrians gather and use fire extinguishers on the rubble of a building in the aftermath of a Russian airstrike in Dair al-Asafeer village, rural Damascus. Activists

Russia is facing intense criticism for its aerial campaign backing the Syrian government after it was accused of hitting hospitals in opposition-held areas.

Turkey and France both said Russia had committed war crimes, while UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said it appeared that the bombings were a military tactic and could amount to war crimes.

Russia formally denied it hit a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in northern Syria, an area where rebels are ceding ground to both government forces and the Kurdish YPG units, capitalising on Moscow’s airstrikes.

“We categorically denounce such claims. Every time it turns out that whoever makes such claims is unable to even somehow confirm them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

Almost 50 people, including many children, were killed on Monday in multiple missile attacks on hospitals and schools in Syria, the UN said, without specifying who was responsible.

An updated UN statement on Tuesday said a total of seven hospitals were out of service as a result of the attacks, while 13 hospitals had been reported hit in the previous month.

Agencies

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