Topic: Protests in Syria
- Kurds, Syria, and the Chessboard
- US, Russia Spar over Truth, Consequences in Syria
- Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria a ‘War Crime’ – UN Chief
- 10% of Syrian Rebels Linked to Al-Qaida – Study
MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – A senior Russian lawmaker bristled at Washington on Wednesday for its “silence” about the recent killing of hundreds of civilian Kurds by a jihadist rebel group linked to al-Qaida in Syria’s civil war.
Some 450 Kurds, most of them women and children, were killed by the al-Nusra Front between July 28 and August 2 near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The Front is linked to al-Qaida and is considered a terrorist group by the United Nations.
“Why is the US silent?” Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said on Twitter.
“Where is the moral compass of [US Secretary of State] John Kerry?” he added in an apparent reference to Kerry’s own reported use of the idiom.
In late August, Kerry was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that anyone who thinks that the August 21 chemical attack outside Damascus was fabricated needs to check “their own moral compass.” Washington insisted that the deadly attack, which killed hundreds, was carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, while Damascus and Moscow blamed anti-Assad rebels for the attack.
In early August, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn the attacks on Kurdish civilians.
Kurds are Syria’s largest ethnic minority, accounting for more than 10 percent of the country’s 23 million population, and are mostly concentrated in impoverished northeastern regions sandwiched between Turkey and Iraq, according to The Associated Press.
Until recently, the Kurdish areas appeared relatively calm amid Syria’s civil war, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011, according to the United Nations and Western media reports. But recent jihadist attacks on Kurdish communities along the Turkish border caused tens of thousands of Kurds to flee to neighboring Iraq, the reports said.
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