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Ignoble legacy

Jun 11,2018 - Last updated at Jun 11,2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Moscow last week during a telephone questions and answers session with the Russian public that he had no intention to withdraw the Russian forces from Syria, at least not for the time being, and that the deployment of the Russian military in Syria offered Russia a unique opportunity for military training and testing of new weapons.

Putin was, therefore, candid as to why he invested so heavily in the Syrian conflict, and thought this investment was more than cost effective. To use Syria as a testing ground for the Russian military preparedness and the advanced Russian weapons is, indeed, troubling, because this was conducted with utter disregard for Syrian human life.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights and other credible international human rights organisations had, therefore, painted a grim picture of the Russian military intervention in Syria. It is stated that the Russian carpet bombings in Syria, especially in Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta, had killed 6,133 civilians, 1,761 of whom were children.

Russian warplanes had allegedly targeted hospitals and clinics in areas controlled by the opposition on purpose, with utter disregard for human life. So, while Moscow can relish the fact that it had achieved several military objectives in Syria, its legacy in Syria is anything but noble.

President Putin ordered the military intervention of the Russian might in September 2015 on the side of the Syrian regime and succeeded in tilting the military balance in favour of President Bashar Assad, but at what cost! This is not to deny that rebel forces had also committed grave human rights violations, but the scale and magnitude of the Russian violations of humanitarian law leaves a permanent scar on the Russian intervention in Syria, as well as on the image of the Russian Federation. 

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