US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo once again accused Syrian President Bashar Assad and the nation of Russia of bombing civilians in Syria, an lather-rinse-repeat accusation that has been reiterated by various actors and consistently debunked by the Russian Ministry of Defence one too many times.
The US Secretary of State, a Trump appointee, tweeted that in the last 48 hours, the “Assad regime, with Russian support, unleashed airstrikes that hit a school, hospital, & homes, killing 12 & injuring nearly 40.”
“Repulsive. #Russia & the Assad regime must resolve this through the @UN-facilitated process & stop waging war in civilian areas,” Pompeo tweeted.
In the last 48 hrs, the Assad regime, w/ Russian support, unleashed airstrikes that hit a school, hospital, & homes, killing 12 & injuring nearly 40. Repulsive. #Russia & the Assad regime must resolve this through the @UN-facilitated process & stop waging war in civilian areas.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 8, 2019
Pompeo’s tweets were copied and repeated by State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on Friday.
"The United States strongly condemns the Assad regime’s airstrikes, with Russian support, that continue to cause numerous casualties among civilians and humanitarian workers, and damage to hospitals and civilian infrastructure in Idlib and other areas of northwest Syria," Ortagus said in a statement.
According to the spokeswoman, the bombing took place in Syria’s Idlib province.
The baseless accusations come just one month after The New York Times accused Russia of bombing a “hospital,” only for the allegations to be debunked by Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. During a press briefing in October, Konashenkov proved that the target was a remote terrorist bunker hidden in the mountains, adding that journalists were allowed to view stockpiles of ammunition “with their own eyes.”
Upholding The Tradition
The tradition of accusing Assad – and by extension Russia – of indiscriminately killing civilians has its roots in the administration of US President Barack Obama. Assad has been repeatedly accused of conducting war crimes, including chemical attacks. The so-called White Helmets played a large role in fabricating video footage repeatedly outed as fake, until those ‘activists’ were evacuated to the UK and Canada ahead of advancing Damascus forces in 2018.
Despite the advances of Damascus, the Idlib province remains a stronghold for various radical Muslim terrorist groups, including the remnants of Daesh* and the former Nusra Front. A patchwork force, which previously used a flag modelled after Syrian Arab Republic flag in a bid to masquerade as the “moderate civil opposition” in November 2018 rebranded itself, adopting an Islamic religious Shahada symbol instead of ‘civic’ stars. While Shahada can be found on several national flags, including Saudi Arabia, it was also used by the Nusra Front terror group prior to rebranding itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The Shahada is an Arabic inscription that reads “there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.”
*Daesh and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are terror groups outlawed in Russia and a number of other nations.