The high probability that this question will be answered in the affirmative is owing to a number of causes:
In spite of baseless ravings by "anti-imperialists" about the "huge loss of life" and "massive infrastructure damage" they say was caused to Libya by the NATO assault, a factual history of what happened does not support those conclusions. The studies that have been done by the New York Times [40-70], Human Rights Watch  Amnesty International , and the United Nations  puts the number of innocent civilian deaths caused by NATO attacks at between 40 and 72. This very low figure is owed largely to a very different use of military air power in Libya as compared to Afghanistan, Iraq or in any previous NATO combat mission. Rules of engagement meant that only smart bombs were used. Targets were carefully marked, missions carefully planned and often aborted if conditions weren't right. There was very little infrastructure damage. NATO commanders prided themselves on accomplishing feats like taking out a tank parked below a bridge without harming the bridge, and they did it! Libya certainly has it problems today, but if oil production is now down to 30% of Qaddafi era levels, its because of internal political strife not infrastructure damage cause by NATO. It was up to 90% not 6 months after Qaddafi was overthrown.
I think it commendable that in the very exceptional case of Libya, NATO commanders showed what they could accomplish in sparing innocent life and national infrastructure while fighting a war if they wanted to. I think they set a new standard for aerial warfare that should be demanded so long as aerial warfare is still practiced. Beyond that, the NATO mission over Libya didn't make killing civilians that hard to avoid. In the first place, maybe a majority of the NATO air sorties over Libya were against air defense installations, essentially self-serving attacks. Most others were likely to be purely military targets like bases, air fields, military units and heavy weapons. It must also be recognized that NATO killed thousands of Libyan soldiers and some targeted civilians, but that was the mission, as long as those Libyan soldiers and officials were making war on civilians.
Russia, on the other hand, said it is bombing the Islamic State and it has become clear that they are also attacking the Free Syrian Army and other militias fighting the Assad regime. Now, while there are vast political differences between ISIS, al Nusra, FSA and others, they all have this in common: They don't make the greatest targets to attack from the air. They don't have big bases, air fields, or infrastructure. They don't have a lot heavy weapons to take out, and unlike most regular armies, they tend to live and operate among the people. That means it will be almost impossible to wage an air war against any of them without at the same time inflicting heavy civilian causalities. This applies to all the forces that say they are bombing ISIS in Syria. From the air, Syria looks a lot different than Libya. Also, unlike the NATO operation over Libya, there isn't even the pretense that they are there to protect civilians. They are there, and this goes not only for Russia, but all the countries bombing Syria, to kill "terrorists," however each country defines the term. They aren't there to protect anyone. Its not even in the mission statement!
|Photo released by Russian Defense Ministry appears to show them using indiscriminate cluster bombs in Syria|
Thanks in part to Obama's enforcement of an embargo against heavy air defense weapons for the rebels. Russia doesn't even have to bother with those pesky air defense missions that so occupied NATO over Libya. The Russian warplanes can focus 100% on destroying people on the ground and the from the bomb sight camera footage proudly released by the Russians, they ain't using smart bombs. Those pictures remind me of the carpet bombing photos from the Vietnam War. That is what is known as an area bombardment, as opposed to a surgical attack, and when used in a civilian area, will kill large numbers of civilians.
So what have been the results so far?
On the first day of the Russian air strikes, 30 September 2015, the Syrian National Council said 36 civilians, including 5 children were killed north of Homs city. CNN reported 28 civilians being killed:
Syrian activist Khdaier Khushfa in Homs told CNN via Skype that 17 civilians had been killed in Talbiseh and 11 others in Zafaraniya by the Russian airstrikes Wednesday, and 46 people had been critically wounded.Numbers for Thursday's attacks are harder to pin down, al Jazerra reported:
In the Hama suburb of Habeet, an airstrike at around 8:30 pm local time killed three civilians, including a 5-year-old girl, and injured 12 others, according to opposition activist Hadi al-Abdullah.
“The destruction caused by the strike was massive. A two-story house was completely flattened to the ground,” he told Al Jazeera.
Earlier, an attack on Jisr al-Shoghour in the northwestern province of Idlib destroyed a mosque and killed two civilians, other activists told Al Jazeera.
In Idlib’s Jabal al-Zawya region, two children were among at least seven civilians killed in suspected Russian airstrikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based monitoring group said Russian airstrikes in Syria have killed 30 civilians since they were launched on Wednesday.
IDLIB, SYRIA - OCTOBER 1: Syrian people receive treatment at a field hospital after being injured in the Russian strikes targeting a camp near Belyun town in Jabal al-Zawiya area of Idlib province, Syria on 1 October, 2015. At least 4 people were killed and 8 other wounded in Russian airstrikes on Syrian opposition forces and civilians at a camp near Idlib province. ...
#Syria regime that #Russia wants to prop up: Targeting rescuers in suburban #Damascus today as they rescued children https://t.co/O4XpVJH9fx— Sam Dagher (@samdagher) October 2, 2015
#Syria #Daraa Twin airstrike on Tel Harra https://t.co/NxhzMMWEnc http://t.co/Rd5H9AR9y4 pic.twitter.com/JRHoJrE1Qv— Mark (@markito0171) October 2, 2015
Horrific reports from al-Bab.. Death toll raised to 100 killed; 200 injured in #Assad barrels and sea mines bombardment on the city.. #Syria— Rami (@RamiAlLolah) October 2, 2015
Is Syria also the 1st holocaust of the 21st Century?
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