U.K. foreign secretary suggests Russia ‘may have committed’ war crime in Syria

LONDON, Sept. 25 (UPI) — Saying Russia may have deliberately targeted civilians during an attack on Aleppo, U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested the country may have committed war crimes.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show Sunday, Johnson said it was only right to ask Russia if it had deliberately targeted civilians. A warehouse and 18 trucks were destroyed and 20 people were killed last Monday in the attack, BBC reported.

Russia had denied responsibility for that attack, blaming a U.S. drone or possible rebel bombing.

Johnson went on to say Russia is “guilty of protracting the war in Syria and “making it far more hideous.”

Despite what he called a lack of Western strategy, Johnson said there was no public appetite for a different military approach, The Guardian reported.

He said the best way to force Moscow to pull back would be to shame it in the court of public opinion.

“Putin’s regime is not just handing [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] the revolver; he is in some instances firing the revolver. The Russians themselves are actually engaged,” he said.

The foreign secretary said the west failed in assembling a viable military strategy since 2013 when the British parliament and other countries decided not to take military action despite evidence Assad was usiing chemical weapons against civilians.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called such action a red line for his country.

“If you say to me the west is too impotent, I would have to agree,” Johnson said. “I would have to agree that since we took those decisions in 2013, when those red lines were crossed, we have not really had a viable military response or any kinetic response to what is going on.”

Rebel forces have reportedly retaken the Palestinian refugee camp of Handarat north of Aleppo. The area fell to government troops on Saturday.



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