UN: Stop Syria war crimes

Orient Net - Agencies 2016-05-12 05:15:00

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States backing Syria’s peace process must stop the warring parties from attacking unlawful targets such as hospitals and other civilian sites, UN war crimes investigators said in a statement on Wednesday, Zawya reported.

Air strikes, shelling and rocket fire had been consistently used in recent attacks on civilian areas, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a statement.

“Failure to respect the laws of war must have consequences for the perpetrators,” its chairman, Paulo Pinheiro, said.

“Until the culture of impunity is uprooted, civilians will continue to be targeted, victimised and brutally killed.”

International law requires all parties to the conflict to distinguish between lawful and unlawful targets, but that distinction had been ignored and some recent attacks had been war crimes, the statement said.

It cited an attack on the Al Quds hospital in Aleppo governorate on April 27 and other attacks on nearby medical facilities, and air strikes on markets, bakeries and a water station, as well as the May 5 attack on a refugee camp in Idlib.

The statement did not explicitly attribute blame for attacks on civilians, but only Assad regime and its ally Russia are using aircraft in the conflict, The Gulf Today reported.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, said last week that initial reports suggested Assad regime aircraft were responsible for the attack on the refugee camp in Idlib governorate, which killed about 30 people.