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Syrian Solidarity NZ condemns Russian bombs and sieges

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Media Release

Syrian Solidarity New Zealand condemns Russian bombs and starvation sieges in Syria

Syrian Solidarity New Zealand and supporters will be protesting at Aotea Square in Auckland this Saturday, 29th October calling for Russia to stop its bombing and starvation sieges of Aleppo and other towns across Syria. []

Our supporters will also be protesting in front of the Russian Embassy in Wellington at the same time and enforcing the same message to Russia to stop bombing and starving Aleppo and other Syrian cities and towns. []

As the popular uprising against Bashar Al Assad approaches its sixth year and with close to half a million Syrians dead, we are greatly concerned that there has been no accountability to the key perpetrators of civilian deaths. Both Russia and US are disgracefully killing civilians in Syria. Conservative figures released by Airwars, a London-based group monitoring international airstrikes against ISIS, put civilian deaths by the coalition over a 26 month period at 900, while Russian bombings have killed 3,600 civilians in the first 12 months alone. So approximately 8 out of 9 civilian deaths are caused by Russian Bombings. We call for an end to Russia’s continued support for Bashar Al-Assad and their joint practice of bombing high density civilian areas and hospitals and then waiting for the emergency rescue to arrive and then deliberately bombing the rescuers. Russia is clearly in contravention of international law.

We call for an end to the starvation siege on Aleppo. Extensive campaigns of bombardment and siege are being used to bring about mass demographic population change in Aleppo. We have seen the same tactics used in other cities across Syria such as Daraya and Homs, where starvation and bombing have been used to force people to flee or surrender to Assad. Imposing starvation on civilian populations is a war crime. We condemn the so-called anti-war groups active in New Zealand and abroad that systematically gloss over Putin and Assad’s culpability in torture, killing, sniping, use of banned chemical weapons and deliberate targeting of civilians. Ali Akil spokesperson, says ‘The Syrian cause would have been much better served if the US did not create the perception that they support the popular uprising. A wave of an uncritical anti Americanism has distorted the public’s understanding of the situation in Syria and obscured Syrian voices. The popular uprising started in 2011 as people across Syria went onto the streets to demand democracy and freedom. In response they were shot, rounded up, tortured, raped and killed. After many months of peaceful protesting met with overwhelming violence, the people took up arms to defend themselves. The Assad regime has vowed to continue to obliterate the population until it accepts his rule.

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