Syrian regime and Islamic State committing war crimes, UN

Executions every Friday, 10-year-olds recruited as fighters

27 August, 15:15

    (ANSAmed) - GENEVA, AUGUST 27 - Syrian government forces and Islamic State (IS) insurgents are both committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, a UN commission of inquiry said on Wednesday. Government forces have committed massacres, attacks, torture, and other violations that constitute crimes against humanity, said the commission in a report issued in Geneva. The jihadist group the Islamic State (IS) also ''poses a clear and present danger to civilians, and particularly minorities, under its control in Syria and in the region'', it said. The report states that children as young as 10 years old are recruited by IS militants in the two countries. In the Syrian areas controlled by the group, ''particularly in the north and north-east of the country, Fridays are regularly marked by executions, amputations and lashings in public squares,'' the independent commission of inquiry on the human rights situation in Syria said.

    ''Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorising the local population,'' it noted, adding that civilians - including children - are encouraged to watch the public executions and that women are whipped for not abiding by the IS ''dress code''. The commission urged the international community to place an arms embargo on Syria and to curb the proliferation and supply of armaments in the country. The weapons transferred to the parties in conflict in Syrian, both the government and rebel groups, are being used to perpetuate war crimes, crimes against humanity, and human rights violations, said the commission. The report noted that some states (not identified by name) continue to provide weapons, artillery, and air, logistical or strategic support to the Syrian government. Other states, organizations, and individuals instead support the rebel groups with arms and financial support. The report released on Thursday in Geneva by the commission of experts under Brazilian professor Paulo Pinheiro covers the period between January 20 and July 15, 2014. The Syrian government refused to grant the commission access to the country and thus the report was based on 480 interviews and evidence collected indirectly.

    The document will be presented to the UN Human Rights Commission on September 16 during an ordinary session of the UN body. (ANSAmed).

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