‘Illegitimate coalition’ must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN

'Illegitimate coalition' must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN
Syria wants the US and its allies to pay for the destruction of Syrian infrastructure and to bear legal responsibility for “illegitimately” bombing civilian targets, Damascus has told the UN, demanding that the American-led coalition strikes stop.

The Syrian “Government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility for compensation,” the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations said in letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council.

Stating that the ongoing US-led anti-terrorist airstrikes “continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians,” Damascus claimed that the bombings had led to a “near-total destruction” of homes and vital infrastructure, including the “utter destruction” of oil and gas facilities.

The attacks, along with US and EU-imposed economic restrictions on Syria “are impeding the maintenance of those economic facilities and jeopardizing the prospects for development and reconstruction” in the country, the letters, written last week, said.

To support their claims, Syria’correspondence referred to two recent cases where the coalition’s jets destroyed oil and gas facilities. Damascus also said the May 27 bombardment of Hasu Albu Awf village in the Hasakah governorate, “completely” destroyed many homes and killed at least eight civilians, “most of them children.”

On Friday, the US-led coalition announced the demolition of a number of oil and gas facilities in various parts of Syria which allegedly belonged to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.

Targeting the terrorists’ illegal oil trade and jihadist infrastructure has been a cornerstone of both American and Russian strategies in Syria. But while Moscow coordinates its strikes with the Syrian government, the Washington-led operation has been harshly criticized for its indiscriminate bombing practices and doing so without communicating with Syrian government forces.

MORE: Casualties likely, ‘I’m not speculating’ – US Central Command spokesman on US-led airstrikes in Syria https://on.rt.com/8c23 

Photo published for US-led airstrikes on Syrian forces hit tank & construction equipment, casualties likely — RT America

US-led airstrikes on Syrian forces hit tank & construction equipment, casualties likely — RT America

US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian pro-government forces near the city of An Tanf hit a tank, a bulldozer and construction equipment. US Central Command did not rule out casualties, but told RT it…

rt.com

Damascus’ letters to the UN once again underlined that the American air campaign is being conducted in violation of international law, as it lacks any form of consent or authorization from the Syrian government.

Raqqa, known as the stronghold of IS, has been the main focus of the US operation in Syria, where Washington is guiding and supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

‘US coalition bombs hitting civilians rather than ISIS’: Raqqa refugees recount deadly random airstrikes https://on.rt.com/8fqy 

While the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve this month confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the US-led air campaign in Syria and Iraq, Airwars, a UK-based group that monitors airstrikes and civilian casualties, claimed this week that it tracked “more than 700 likely civilian deaths” in Raqqa alone – even before the battle for the city began in June.

However, there is little chance that the document would lead to any repercussions for Washington, international relations professor Jamal Wakeem told RT.

I don’t believe that the United Nations will take any action against the United States, because we know it has been the tradition of the UN not to act against any aggression done by the US against any country,” Wakeem said.

Even if the UN moves forward with Syria’s claims, “the US, as a permanent member of the UN [Security] Council, would veto any resolution that could be proposed against it,” Wakeem added.

Nevertheless, Syria’s move “could affect the US, not on a political, but on a moral level,” the professor said.


German media failed to objectively report refugee crisis, sided with govt agenda – study

German media failed to objectively report refugee crisis, sided with govt agenda – study
Major German print publications have played to the tune of the German government in presenting the migrant crisis to the public, ignoring critical issues in their coverage of the biggest refugee flow into Europe since WWII, a new German study revealed.

After analysis of thousands of articles published in Germany between February 2015 and March 2016, researchers at the Hamburg Media School and the University of Leipzig found that major German publications failed to objectively cover the refugee crisis.

The report is available on the website of the Otto Brenner Foundation. According to German media, the full study will be officially published on Monday.

The investigation accuses mainstream newspapers such as Bild, Die Welt, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, of being in lockstep with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.

More than 1.6 million asylum-seekers are estimated to have entered Europe between 2014 and 2016, leading to the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. From 2015 on, Chancellor Merkel’s government has conducted what is now known as the ‘open-door’ policy, despite an avalanche of criticism from the public.

Despite massive rallies against Berlin’s policies, the newspapers have overwhelmingly supported “the political elite” by spreading the concept of a ‘welcome culture’ (Willkommenskultur) in Germany, the research states.

The ‘welcome culture’ has been “transfigured into a kind of magic word’ in which “the Samaritan services… which can be voluntarily provided by the citizens, could be morally requested,” it says.

“Large parts of journalists have misunderstood their professional role and neglected the enlightenment function of the media,”the head of the study, Professor Michael Haller, is quoted as saying by Die Zeit.

Haller said that a lot of the reports have ignored German popular opinion, and have failed to take into account the views of the expert community or the asylum-seekers themselves. The articles were often infused with the opinions of the journalist.

Overall, the study found the articles to be too sentimental and with very “few critical inquiries to the authorities.”

The paper noted that some media outlets had treated those opposed to the government’s ‘open door policy’ as racist.

Furthermore, the authors of the study believe that some of the reporting had “massively contributed” to the division within German public opinion and the loss of confidence in the quality of journalism.

As the refugee crisis unfolded and Germany was rocked by a series of attacks involving asylum-seekers, Merkel was forced to change her tune.

In April, she said that some potentially dangerous people could have infiltrated the country among the refugees. In September, Merkel admitted that the notorious “we can do it” motto – referring to Germany’s ability to host huge number of asylum-seekers – had become “an empty formula.”

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