The US magazine Foreign Policy revealed that in March, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) would complete its final extensive investigation into the war crimes of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and the ISIS extremist group. The revelation came as US administration is finalizing the Caesar Act to impose sanctions against the Assad regime and its supporters.
The investigation is based on CIJA’s custodianship of more than 800,000 official cables from Syria’s four main intelligence and security services, which were obtained via CIJA’s work with human rights groups in the country.
Foreign Policy pointed out that these agencies were responsible for guiding the massacres of nearly half a million people in the course of military operations by Assad’s forces and their foreign allies, most notably Russia and Iran. Once the investigation is completed, CIJA will be ready to bring 10 legal cases against Assad and his government for crimes against humanity and an additional six against ISIS.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres earlier called for referring Syria to the International Criminal Court. In April 2018, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, head of the UN International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism, said that her team had already collected around 700,000 documents that would be used as evidence of the war crimes that have been committed in Syria since the Syrian revolution began in March 2011.
Marchi-Uhel said that hear team stood ready to act quickly to collect more documents proving war crimes were committed against civilians in Syria.
The Syrian Coalition repeatedly accused the Assad regime of committing large-scale war crimes in Syria and blamed it for the death of over half a million people through the use of conventional and internationally prohibited weapons as well as the siege of cities and towns and the starvation of their population. The Coalition also accused the Assad regime of detaining tens of thousands of people and of displacing millions more to outside the country. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)