Human Rights Watch: ‘Russia/Syria: Satellite, Video Imagery Confirm School Attack’
A new Human Rights Watch report with satellite imagery confirming that airstrikes struck a school complex despite denials by Russia.
The attacks occurred in the opposition controlled town of Haas, and reportedly resulted in the killing of dozens, most of them children.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, claimed that, “video footage of an alleged air strike on the Haas settlement, published by some foreign media outlets, is more than ten edited fragments assembled together.” The Russians claim that it had not conducted air strikes in the region for 9 days.
Human Rights Watch’s senior children’s rights researcher, Bill Van Esveld, was quoted as saying: “This denial is an insult to the victims and a symptom of the impunity and manipulation of information that has characterized the Syria conflict.”
A group of Russian bloggers, who are critical of the Kremlin, known as the Conflict Intelligence Team, compiled a list of documents and other links which are “more than enough videos showing airstrikes on the town of Hass and their aftermath.”
UOSSM: 8 Attacks in Four Days – “2016 On Track to Become Worst Year of Hospital Attacks on Record”
The report, released on the 15th of November, found that three separate hospitals in Western Aleppo were hit by airstrikes on the 14th of November, as well as a mobile clinic that was hit but initial reports “showing now casualties” and with only moderate structural damage.
The facilities reportedly attacked provide “on average per month: 23,000 consultations, 2000 admissions, 1800 surgeries and 650 deliveries.”
Early this week, Sputnik reported that the Russian Ministry of Defence denied allegations of airstrikes against hospitals in Aleppo as “fake” on the basis that there had been no airstrikes in Aleppo in the last four weeks. According to the report from the UOSSM, 2016 is on track to become “the worst year of hospital attacks on record” as a result of eight reported attacks in four days.
Anti-Defamation League Stands in Solidarity With Muslims
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), spoke this week at the organization’s annual meeting in Los Angeles. Greenblatt criticized Trump’s plan to create a register of Muslims in the U.S, and vowed that if such a register were to be established, he himself would register as a Muslim.
The organization was founded in 1913 to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, but its position has grown to “fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.” It was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S in the 1960.
However the ADL also has a checkered history that includes spying, infiltrating and smearing progressive, left wing, socialist, communist and other organizations, such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee under the leadership of former CEO Abraham Foxman.
Professor Noam Chomsky, who was himself targeted by the organization, wrote that, “The ADL has virtually abandoned its earlier role as a civil rights organization, becoming ‘one of the main pillars’ of Israeli propaganda in the U.S [and has engaged] in surveillance, blacklisting, compilation of FBI-style files circulated to adherents for the purpose of defamation, angry public responses to criticism of Israeli actions, and so on.” In those years, the ADL ignored the racism and severe rights violations in Palestine and labeled anti-Zionism and even criticism of certain Israeli policies as anti-Semitism.
Jonathan Greenblatt has become CEO of the ADL last year, and his statement this week signifies that the organization is returning to its original values of solidarity against all forms of racism.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Expresses Confidence in Trump
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he is confident that “Trump is a trustworthy leader.”
Although Trump has previously expressed critical positions towards Japan, including threatening to pull out U.S troops and force Japan to pay more for U.S protection, the Japanese Prime Minister holds positions which align with Trump’s. He has called for a re-armament of Japan and changing Japan’s peace constitution to allow it to participate in offensive military operations.