Coalition's phosphorus bombs' use 'blatant violation of int'l law'

DAMASCUS, Aug. 07 (MNA) – Damascus accused the US-led coalition of using banned phosphorus bombs and launching airstrikes on residential areas and hospitals, saying that it is a "blatant violation of international law."

The Syrian Foreign Ministry sent letters to the UN secretary general and the UN Security Council, condemning the coalition's strikes using banned weaponry on civilian infrastructure, while acting in Syria without the country's government consent in violation of UN resolutions.

On Saturday, Syrian state news agency Sana reported citing the deputy head of the local brach of the Red Crescent. that the US-led coalition allegedly struck a Raqqa hospital used exclusively by civilians with banned phosphorus bombs.

"The systematic bombing of residential areas, houses of civilians, the destruction of the Raqqa state hospital and the use of banned white phosphorus by the aircraft of the international coalition are a blatant violation of international law and is among a number of coalition's crimes against the innocent [civilians] in the provinces and cities of Syria," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Moreover, the Syrian Foreign Ministry urged the UNSC to fulfill its responsibilities to preserve peace and security and called on all countries to comply with Security Council resolutions on combating terrorism.

This was not the first time the US-led coalition used banned phosphorus bombs in Raqqa airstrikes. In June, the coalition explained to Sputnik that it used white phosphorus to screen and mark targets in Raqqa during the operation to liberate the Syrian city from ISIL. The US-led coalition claims it uses phosphorus ammunition in Syria in accordance with international norms, taking precautions concerning civilians' presence. The Human Rights Watch has repeatedly criticized used of phosphorus bombs.

White phosphorus munitions were formally prohibited by a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, banning weapons that "cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering."

According to the Syrian state media, in less than a week more than 50 civilians were killed in the coalition's bombings. 

On Friday, Sana news agency reported that coalition warplanes struck Raqqa leaving a woman and 7 children dead.

The same day, the US-led coalition updated the number civilian casualties in its anti-Daesh operation in Syria and Iraq that has risen to 624 peoplesince the start of the campaign.

Last week, Sana news agency reported several times that civilians were killed in US-led coalition's strikes in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

The US-led coalition of 68 nations has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL terrorist group in Syria and Iraq since 2014. The strikes in Syria are not authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.


News Code 126940


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