Syrian regime and Islamic State committed crimes against humanity: U.N.

A girl, with cheeks painted in the colors of Syria's flag, takes part in a protest in front of the United Nations building in New York. File photo

ARA News

Geneva, Switzerland – The United Nations’ investigators accused on Wednesday the Syrian regime and the Islamic State (IS) of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The U.N. investigators said in a 45-page report released on Wednesday that forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used barrel bombs containing chemical agent against residential neighbourhood in the city of Aleppo last April, adding that the Syrian regime has committed multiple crimes against humanity, emphasizing the necessity to prosecute all officials involved in these crimes.

“Violence has bled over the borders of the Syrian Arab republic, with extremism fuelling the conflict’s heightened brutality,” the report read.

The U.N. report referred to the “systematic torture” practised by pro-Assad forces against detainees in custody. “Forced truces, a mark of the government’s strategy of siege and bombardment, are often followed by mass arrests of men of fighting age, many of whom disappear,” the report added.

On the other hand, the U.N. investigators pointed out that extremists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) carried out criminal acts against civilians in northern Syria, referring to the public killings and whippings practices by the group’s militants.

“In areas of Syria under ISIS control, particularly in the north and north-east of the country, Fridays are regularly marked by executions, amputations and lashings in public squares,” the investigators reported. “Executions in public spaces have become a common spectacle on Fridays in ISIS-held areas in Raqqa and Aleppo. Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorising the local population.”

“Children have been present at the executions, which take the form of beheading or shooting in the head at close range. Bodies are placed on public display, often on crucifixes, for up to three days, serving as a warning to local residents. Forces of the Islamic State have committed torture, murder, acts tantamount to enforced disappearance and forced displacement as part of attacks on the civilian population in Aleppo and Raqqa provinces, amounting to crimes against humanity.”

The U.N. report stressed the necessity of referring these cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Noteworthy, the U.N. investigators’ report is based on 480 interviews and documentary evidence.


Reporting by: Danish Abdulrahman

Source: ARA News

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