The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that the Assad regime forces backed by Russian warplanes may have committed war crimes in a report issued on Wednesday.
According to the report which was presented at the UN General Assembly meeting, the Assad regime and Russian forces targeted medical facilities, schools, markets and farmland in an ongoing deadly campaign in northwestern Syria, resulting in civilian casualties.
The report indicated that the campaign has killed hundreds of civilians and displaced at least 330,000 women, men, and children since late April, which may amount to war crimes.
The report accused the Assad regime forces of carrying out repeated airstrikes in Saraqib, northwest of Idlib on 9 March, damaging a women’s and children’s hospital, although pro-regime forces knew the hospital’s coordinates in advance.
Pro-regime forces in Idlib dropped, on 14 May, between two and four rockets at a fish market and a girls’ primary school in Jisr Al-Shughour, killing at least eight civilians. “Such attacks may amount to a war crime of intentionally targeting what a presumably protected location and deliberately targeting medical personnel,” the Commission stressed.
Investigators accused Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham of indiscriminately firing rockets and killing civilians in regime-held areas. They also indicated that Al-Jazeera Storm operation, launched by the US-led coalition in December last year in the eastern ISIS-held town of Hajin, resulted in a large number of civilian casualties.
Moreover, the report noted that all warring parties continue to ignore or deny arbitrarily assurances of protection, including guarantees of sustained and unhindered humanitarian assistance to vulnerable civilian populations.
The Commission called for allowing unconditional access for independent monitors and humanitarian organizations to all places of detention and release any arbitrarily detained persons, particularly women and children.
It also called for ensure unconditional and sustained access to humanitarian and medical relief for civilians in need and guarantees for the protection of aid and health workers.
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established on August 22, 2011, under a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council and was tasked with investigating all violations in Syria and identify those responsible. It has so far issued more than 20 reports since the beginning of its work. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)