The Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Syria condemned the bombing campaign by the Assad’s forces on the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria.
In a report submitted to the UN human rights council Tuesday, the Commission’s chairman Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said that the fragile ceasefire in the demilitarized zone of northwest Syria is at risk of total collapse.
“Conditions for the ceasefire have not been respected, and we are witnessing an upsurge in fighting, predominantly around southern Idlib, northern Hama, and western Aleppo governorates,” Pinheiro told the Council.
He noted that schools, markets, and camps for internally displaced persons continue to be struck by both aerial and ground offensives. Numerous educational facilities have closed down in anticipation of further attacks, leaving tens of thousands of children without access to education.
“These attacks are regularly marked by the use of indiscriminate weapons such as forbidden munitions including cluster bombs and incendiary weapons.”
Pinheiro went on to say that these weapons have destroyed vital food producing resources including hectares of crops and agricultural equipment, resulting in substantial harvest losses for an all too beleaguered population.
The UN official added that in recent months, dozens of health facilities were either damaged or completely destroyed, depriving approximately 600,000 civilians from vitally needed medical care, including those providing specialized services to women and children.
“As so often in past, the current surge of conflict in the demilitarized zone is further causing mass displacement. Within the past three months, more than 300,000 individuals have been internally displaced in the northwest. Those recently displaced have fled mostly to areas with high numbers of existing IDPs, severely straining already overstretched humanitarian providers.”
The Commission has already confirmed the Assad regime’s responsibility for most of the chemical attacks in the country. However, Russia has blocked all UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Assad regime by using its veto power.
The UN Human Rights Council established the International Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria on August 22, 2011 to investigate all violations in the country. The UN Security Council in 2016 adopted a resolution to establish the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in investigating and prosecuting crimes under international law in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)