Syria Girl
Four-year old Asra of Syria poses in front of a Christmas tree at a refugee shelter in an evangelic church in Oberhausen, Germany, December 22, 2015. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Amnesty International has slammed Russia for denying the death of civilians in Syria due to Russian attacks.

The human rights group has claimed Russian airstrikes in Syria killed at least 200 civilians. The group also suggests Russia deliberately targeted civilians in some cases.

“In five of the [six] attacks, suspected Russian air strikes targeted residential areas, killing 119 civilians,” the briefing said. “The sixth attack concerns air strikes in the immediate vicinity of a hospital in which 13 civilians were killed.”

Amnesty gives example of a Nov. 29 attack on a public market in the center of Ariha, Idleb governorate. It was bustling with people buying and selling vegetables and fruit and other goods when it was struck with three missiles, the briefing said. According to Amnesty, 49 civilians were killed in the attack.

“According to further testimony and audiovisual material, as well as the research of Syrian human rights defenders, there were no military targets in the vicinity,” Amnesty said.

The human rights group questions Russia’s tactics in Syria as Russian authorities called reports of an attack on Omar Bin al-Khattab mosque in central Jisr al-Shughour as a “hoax.” Russia apparently presented a satellite image to show the mosque was unharmed. However, Amnesty points out that the mosque shown in the image is different from the one destroyed in the reported attack.

Russia has questioned the intention of international human rights organizations before. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in November that humanitarian problems in southeastern Ukraine had been “hushed up.” According to him, international human rights groups have “sewn up their mouths on many absolutely glaring facts.”

The complete Amnesty report is available here.