The investigators of the international independent Commission on investigation of events in Syria accused under the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces in using chemical weapons during the shelling of a humanitarian convoy in the night from 19 to 20 September 2016.
“For 2016, the Syrian air force has carried out air strikes on Eastern Aleppo using barrel bombs with chlorine. There is no information which confirms the use of chemical weapons by the Russian military forces”, — stated in the report of the independent Commission prepared on behalf of the UN Council on human rights.
The authors thus note that the sky over Aleppo controlled by the Syrian air force, Russian air force, which “use the same weapons and aircraft, which makes it impossible to determine their identity in many cases.” The head of the independent UN Commission to investigate human rights violations in Syria, Paulo Pinheiro also said at a press conference dedicated to the presentation of the report that the Syrian air force and the Russian space forces were applied daily strikes on rebel-controlled Eastern districts of Aleppo in the period July to 22 December 2016. “The Commission has no evidence whether the cluster bombs are applied by the air forces of both countries or one of them,” — said Pinheiro.
In addition to the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Aleppo, the report’s authors blamed Assad’s forces in preventing the departure of civilians from Aleppo (the tactic of creating human shields) and the siege of the city, which forced the opposition forces to “surrender or starve”.
In addition, the report said that Syrian government forces “carefully planned and ruthlessly carried out” the attack on a humanitarian convoy in Western part of Aleppo in the night from 19 to 20 September, during which killed employees of international humanitarian organizations.
Independent international Commission on investigation of events in the Syrian Arab Republic was established on 22 August 2011 in accordance with resolution S-17/1 of the UN Council on human rights. The report was prepared based on 291 interviews with victims and witnesses, as well as on data analysis is judicial-medical examination and satellite imagery.
Earlier that Syrian government forces have used in the Aleppo chemical weapons, said the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch. Facts which would indicate direct involvement in the cases of Russia’s use of toxic substances, human rights activists, then, is not found. According to HRW, from 17 November to 13 December 2016 was recorded at least eight episodes of the use of chemical weapons, which were deposited on the areas where the planned offensive of the army of Bashar al-Assad. The conclusion was made on the basis of telephone and in-person interviews with witnesses and analysis of videos, photos and social media posts.
Official representative of Russian defense Ministry major General Igor Konashenkov said at the time that this report was prepared by the Amateurs. According to him, “reports prepared by Amateurs, citing data from social networks and unknown stories of anonymous witnesses by telephone”, destroying the reputation of human rights organizations.
Earlier, a special UN Commission was unable to determine, the planes of which country bombed a convoy near Aleppo in the night from 19 to 20 September. A humanitarian convoy near Aleppo came under bombardment in the night from 19 to 20 September. According to the red cross and Crescent societies, during the shelling killed at least 20 civilians who participated in the unloading of trucks with humanitarian aid, as well as one employee of the Syrian red Crescent. According to Reuters, killing at least 10 people.
Washington then blamed the incident on government forces controlled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The defense Ministry denied any involvement in the attack, Russian and Syrian aircraft. The Agency noted that the footage from the scene of the attack on a humanitarian convoy there is no sign of interference with the column of any ammunition. “All demonstrated in the video frames is a direct consequence of the fire load, which is a strange way began simultaneously with the implementation of a large scale militant attack on Aleppo,” — said the official representative of the Ministry of defense Igor Konashenkov.
Yesterday, 28 February, Russia and China blocked a UN security Council resolution on sanctions against Syria, which included the introduction of sanctions against individuals and companies alleged to be associated with the use of chemical weapons.