Scud Missile Attacks in the Syrian Conflict

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This page will, to whatever extent, collect and summarize the body of evidence supporting the crucial escalation of massive Scud missile attacks on Syria’s "liberated" north. These alleged strikes began harmlessly but with great concern in mid-December, 2012. By March 2013, they were reported by anti-government fighters and activists on a daily basis. Whatever evidence there is or isn’t behind each allegation, they have piled up into a massive campaign of approaching, or maybe exceeding the mark of100 firings and well into the low hundreds of reported victims. A turkish official recently declared that as of March 5, as many as "85-90 Scud missiles" had been launched, all by the Syrian government in Damascus. The government denies the charges, and the direct evidence (as opposed to inter-referential statement) seems to be thinner than it should be.

For the moment, this page is a short stub. The content will be assembled and gone over on the discussion page. Previous pages "Scud Missile" Campaign on Aleppo and Jabal Badro Rocket Attack will be scavenged for material and perhaps scrapped, along with this paragraph.

World Reaction

CNN was told by a U.S. official "at least eight" Scuds were fired on aleppo in the preceding four days." [1]

On Feb. 21, the Russians passed a draft condemnation of a terrorist attack that day, a suicide bombing that killed over 50 next to the Russian embassy in Damascus. The first phase only of the late February Scud campaign was chosen as one of two central points the United States insisted on appending before signing. This perceived attempt to justify the attack was deplored by the Russian UN mission on Feb. 21. They refused to sign the US draft for the following language:

The members of the Security Council also condemned the Syrian government’s continued, indiscriminate use of heavy weaponry against civilians, including its February 18 launch of ballistic missiles in residential areas of Aleppo and February 21 airstrikes that hit a field hospital in Dera’a. The members of the Security Council called upon all sides of the conflict to respect international law.

The Russian refusal was deplored by the US mission on February 22. That same day, the second phase occurred with the supposed Scud strikes on Ard al-Hamra and Tariq Al-bab. The perpetrators apparently felt enabled.

Over the following days, as the Syrian government both offered negotiations to end the conflict and denied, again, using Scud missiles, the issue clearly remained at the forefront for those seeking the government's ouster. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "It seems to me that it's pretty hard to understand how, when you see the Scuds falling on the innocent people of Aleppo, it is possible to take their notion that they are ready to have a dialogue very seriously."

AP reports:

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the offer of talks was a positive step "in the context of them raining Scuds down on their own civilians." But he expressed caution about the seriousness of the offer. "I don't know their motivations, other than to say they continue to rain down horrific attacks on their own people," Ventrell told reporters in Washington. "So that speaks pretty loudly and clearly."

References

  1. Syrian Scuds slamming Aleppo From Ivan Watson, CNN Security Clearance. February 19th, 2013. 03:55 PM ET