UN report: war crimes continue in Syria amid international silence

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A United Nations report concluded that nearly 10 years of war in Syria have characterized the conflict with the most heinous violations of international norms and human rights laws, including the occurrence of types of genocide.

According to the Voice of America website, the report prepared by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria confirmed that no party to the conflict has “clean hands” in the war, which is preparing to enter its eleventh year in mid-March.

The commission of inquiry accused all the warring forces of committing “horrific crimes” to achieve short-term political gains or under the pretext of fighting terrorism, noting that most of the victims are Syrian civilians.

The head of the committee, Paulo Pinheiro, explained that children, women and men paid the price for the bloody and brutal authoritarian government that unleashed crushing violence in order to suppress dissent.

“Opportunistic foreign funding and the provision of weapons and other forms of support to the warring parties has fueled the flames of the Holocaust, which he sees is silently watching the world,” Pinheiro said.

He continued, “The absence of decisive measures by the international community has fueled the culture of impunity that has spread and developed inside Syria.”

The report denounced the resort to inhumane methods and tactics by all the warring parties to achieve regional gains at the expense of the Syrian people, documenting the violent air campaigns launched by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally, and noting that Bashar al-Assad’s forces had confirmed the use of chemical weapons 38 times.

The report also pointed to the occurrence of indiscriminate attacks with mortars and rockets against civilians by some opposition factions, in addition to terrorist attacks carried out by extremist groups, which claimed the lives of many innocent people.

For its part, Committee member Karen Koning AbuZayd said that the Syrian population has been subjected to a harsh siege over the past ten years, which has led to famines due to restrictions imposed by the regime on the entry of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas.

Karen stressed the need to respect basic human rights in food, health care and education regardless of who controls the land, noting that this “race to the bottom” regarding the rights of civilians must stop.

The committee called for greater international efforts to end the conflict and put the country on the path to peace and justice, but warned that lasting peace in Syria would not be possible if the victims’ demands for justice and accountability were not met.

It should be noted that since the outbreak of the war in March 2011, the United Nations has estimated the number of victims at more than 400 thousand people, in addition to the displacement of more than 12 million people inside and outside Syria as internally displaced persons and refugees.





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