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Syria: Military Intervention

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence they have received, if any, of civilian casualties in Syria caused by Russian military action by air, by land, or by cluster weapons; and what assessment they have made of the means available to them to prevent Russian military action from increasing casualties in Syria.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

It is difficult to ascertain with complete certainty the numbers of civilian casualties as a direct result of Russian attacks, though there are numerous, credible open source reports of civilian casualties as a result of Russian air strikes. Although Russian claims to be targeting Daesh, 75 per cent of their strikes have been against other targets. We continue to urge Russia to end strikes against the moderate opposition and, instead, to use its political leverage over the Assad regime to stop the regime’s indiscriminate bombing against civilians. In February 2014 we co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 2139 calling for the protection of civilians and an end to indiscriminate attacks, including the use of barrel bombs and obstructing the flow of humanitarian aid.

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