Just this weekend, claims have surfaced that recent Russian air strikes have resulted in the deaths of over 400 Syrian civilians. Over the past few months, Russia has been newly engaged with the fight against ISIS; with support from Assad to do so. But when you look into the sources of who is claiming these deaths appear a little less than trustworthy. The two organizations making the claims, are the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
RT launched an investigation to try and find the man behind the SOHR operation, and their hunt led them to a two-bedroom home in the UK. The organization turned out to be run by just one man, a Syrian immigrant by the name of Rami Abdel Rahman; he claims to have various sources and boots on the ground in Syria. Despite his claims however, it's unclear as to whether or not his sources can be verified. Despite the uncertainty of his claims, the major outlets in Western media have continued to use him as a source. From BBC to CNN, Reuters and AlJazeera, he has had plenty of traffic thanks to his claims over the climbing death toll in the region.
Another organization who is also echoing the same civilian loss as a result of the Russian strikes, is the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). This organization as well, doesn't have much in the way of sound evidence to support their claims. They also seem to have a priority for focusing on Russia's involvement with the Syrian conflict, and they aren't very forthcoming with details about who exactly is involved with their organization. Although, on their site they do claim to be a non-governmental and independent human rights organization and they are certified as a source for the United Nation. In their reports about the civilian deaths caused by Russia, they list photos and it is only alleged (not confirmed) that Russia was guilty of these actions. Their allegations are largely surrounded by the individual testimony from supposed local media activists in the area.
The situation in Syria is an increasingly messy and violent one that continues to worsen, with not only several nations already involved, but China now supposedly looking to get involved as well. Since the last terror attacks in Paris, it looks like the city there could be in full lock-down mode for at least the next three months if not more.
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