Human Rights on Syrian front of informational war on Russia

Human Rights on Syrian front of informational war on Russia | Русская весна

Informational war methods have become much more simple nowadays as they’ve shifted into generally available areas — experience has proven that veryone can establish a «monitoring centre» or «perform analysis» at the level of Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

Social network post with no further evidences could have significant consequences! However big structures with numerous staff, budget and quasi-authority earned by years of work are still functioning. Though on closer examination of what they declare and waht are those declarations grounds we see that they are as trustworthy as numerous «network activists».

October 25 many media with reference to Human Rights Watch (HRW) spread accusations of war crimes against Russia. In particular — they accused Russia of airstrikes on civil settlement which led to mass murder of women and children. The media operate extracts from HRW report and it could leave an impression that news feed provide conclusive results and evidential base is not cited because of its volume and shocking format.

However while analyzing the initial HRW message it is easy to notice complete abcense of any evidences or proofs in favorem of the accusations.

All the publications are based on HRW report dated October 25 , complete text of which could be found on organization’s website.

The report has prominent name: «Russia/Syria: Possibly unlawful Russian air strikes. Entire extended family killed in Homs».

Everyone can decide for himself what’s exactly possible: airstrike as they are, if they were Russian, or their unlawfulness. All those alternatives are equiprobable judging from the report text.

«At least two air strikes in northern Homs on October 15, 2015, that local residents believed to be Russian, apparently violated the laws of war. The air strikes killed a total of 59 civilians, residents said, including 33 children and a commander of the local armed opposition group. Russia should investigate the attacks. The deadliest attack hit a house in the village of Ghantou, where the extended Assaf family had taken shelter, killing a reported 46 family members, all civilians, including 32 children and 12 women, first responders and local activists said. The victims were related to a local commander affiliated with the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), but witnesses said that he was away from the home at the front lines. The second air strike, on the neighboring town of Ter Maaleh, hit near a bakery, and according to local witnesses, killed at least 13 civilians as well as a local FSA commander who was a Syrian army defector. It is not clear whether he was the intended target, as neither Russia nor Syria have issued statements about the specific air strikes.»

Who are those «local witnesses», who are the witnesses and why should we believe them following, HRW? Do they even exist and where are any of photo- or video-evidences?!« — these questions remain unanswered. It is unclear which commander supposedly died, whom did he command and what was his name.

Arstrikes are attributed to Russian airborne because «because the sound of the planes was different from the sound made by Syrian air force planes, and the Russians fly much higher».

Let’s take Su-24 as an exmaple. This plane is included in Russian air mission in Syria. To distinguish sound of one jet pane from another at a height one should be quite competent in aviation. It is nt that easy to distinguish Syrian MiG-23 in its assault modificaion from Su-24. «Much higher» concept is also a very relative definition.



In the next paragraph HRW claims: «A local journalist on pro-government radio outlet Sham FM, reporting on October 15 from the Syrian Army lines in northern Homs, referred to „joint Russian and Syrian“ airstrikes at around 6 a.m., on positions of armed groups in Ghantou, Ter Maaleh, and other areas in the enclave.»

Even if we don’t dwell on traditional inaudibility of the source then comes a question — how do we know for sure was it Syrian war plane or Russian to perform that airstrike, if there were any.

«The blast wounds and flash burns visible on victims in videos and photographs of the Ghantou aftermath, the highly uniform size of the rubble, and the body positions with few fragmentation wounds, indicate the possible use of fuel-air explosives (FAEs), also known as "vacuum bombs" or enhanced blast weapons. More powerful than conventional high-explosive munitions of comparable size, fuel-air explosives produce extensive damage over a wide area, and are therefore prone to indiscriminate impact in populated areas», — that is pseudo-scientific conclusion made by HRW.

However HRW does not show any photo or footage to proove such concusions as fuel-air explosion aircraft bomb employment in heavy populated areas.

«With regard to the Ter Maaleh attack, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported on October 15 that the Syrian army began an offensive in northern rural Homs after «precision air strikes» and shelling to prepare for a ground offensive. SANA said that an al-Qaeda-linked group, Jabhat al-Nusra, had caused a «massacre» in Ter Maaleh and «emphasized» that the Russian and Syrian armies «do not target civilians." Local residents and video footage make it clear, though, that the civilians in Ter Maaleh died as a result of an air strike.»

So it’s «clear» for HRW. The only source is «local residents messages» which is of the same value as «messages of the residents about attack of alien cannibals from a fly-by asteroid, and missing video footage.

«The intended target is not clear. Even if the air strike was targeting Ruwad al-Aksah, the local man who was a Syrian army defector, it appears to have used indiscriminate means or have caused disproportionate harm to civilians. Indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks are serious violations of the laws of war that Russia has an obligation to investigate. Victims of laws of war violations and their families should be promptly and adequately compensated.»

Nothing is clear, even for HRW nothing is clear, but Russia has an obligation to investigate all that fog and pay an adequate compensation to no one knows whom. It is interesting are the authors of that report aware that their logic could be reversed — any announcement made by Russian Foreign Ministry saying that «Russia paid local residents one billion roubles each» should be unconditionally believed.

«Russia talks about precision strikes, yet accounts from the ground and footage from the aftermath indicate that many civilians are being killed," Houry said. „Russia needs to take all necessary measures to protect civilians from their own strikes“, — so HRW puts some name in the text, with no further speifications who is that person and which evodences does he have. Does Nadim Houry even exist? The question is probably believed to be improper. With zero evidence HRW prefers to operate epistolry style. With the same evidential standards.

„A first responder“ identified „one of those killed“ as a Syrian army defector, and a YouTube video (where is it? — editorial) of the aftermath of the strike said that the head of the Ter Maaleh military FSA control room was killed in the strike. A report in Al-‘Ahed, a Lebanese newspaper close to Hezbollah, said that the head of the Ter Maaleh operations room, a defector named Ruwad al-Aksah, nicknamed Abu Ahmed, was killed in a strike on Ter Maaleh that day.»

It’ obvious that such narrative can be taken for fiction reading but it is completely invalid as an evidential base for any kind of accusation. It’s strange but HRW is sincerely astonished when it gets paid back with their own coin. AAfter Defence Ministry and Kremlin have disclaimed HRW announcements Tatyana Lakshina, deputy head of Russian HRW department required proofs.

«We know well that Kremlin answered our announcement dwelling on the poit that those civilians’ deathe was not connected with the Russian airstrikes, but we would like to know was there any investigation» — Lakshina said.

Therefore those loud accusations of war crimes against Russia are based on — let us call a cat a cat — mere assertions. «Some activists», «some video footage», «supposedly», «very likely», «could be» and the same Human Right Watch vocabulary with no real evidence — are basically the only existing evidncs of th organization with more than two hundred of staff and the millions dollar budge. Most of those announcements are impossible to prove at all. But still there is an option «just belive» that Russia deliberately shell civil quarters with «vacuum bombs» killing dozens and hundreds of civilians. HRW sources — «local witness» and «witness» — cannot lie, can they?

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