Total Warfare as principle cause of civilian casualties, refugees and crimes against humanity
The tactics applied by Putin, Assad and their allies in Syria is called total war. Total war, because one doesn’t only aim the military adversary, but also the civilian population living in the areas controlled by this adversary. In the 21st century it was first applied by Putin and the Russian military in Grozny, Chechnya.
It’s main objective is the collapse of civil society hoping it might force the military adversary to retreat or surrender.
In order to achieve this goal the perpetrators systematically, repeatedly and recklessly attack and/or destroy schools, hospitals, water facilities, electricity plants, render food provision and relieve efforts impossible or disturb them in a way that it increases significantly the risks of dying and suffering of rescuers and the civilian population.
Total Warfare includes also the large scale use of indiscriminate weapons and 24/7 bombing, which are meant to induce maximum destruction and terror.
The total war unleashed by Putin and Assad in Syria is the principle cause of the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, the millions of refugees and the massive destructions that were inflicted upon Syrian cities and villages.