News / Middle East

UN: 'Mass Atrocities' Taking Place in Syria

FILE- This undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on June 30, 2014, which has been verified byr AP, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.
FILE- This undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, on June 30, 2014, which has been verified byr AP, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State group during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.
VOA News

The United Nations says "mass atrocities" continue to take place in Syria as Islamic extremists grow more powerful and foreign fighters enter the war.

A new U.N. commission report says the impact of the war is "no longer confined to Syrian territory."

Commission chairman Paulo Pinheiro said Islamic State militants have taken over large parts of eastern Syria and northern Iraq. The report says the Islamic State's gains in Iraq have boosted its military capabilities, and the militants are increasingly fighting other rebel groups for power in Syria.

The commission noted the international support meant to boost "moderate" opposition fighters, saying those efforts to provide money and equipment have not helped reverse the dominance of radical armed groups operating in Syria.

The report also calls attention to the lack of an enduring international push to find a resolution to the crisis, saying "influential states have turned away from the difficult work required for a political solution."
 
Long-sought face-to-face peace talks mediated by former U.N. envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi concluded earlier this year with little progress.
 
Pinheiro said the fighting in Syria is continuing "with no regard to law or to conscience" as hundreds of people die every day.
 

Death toll in Syria Civil War, 2011 - 2014Death toll in Syria Civil War, 2011 - 2014
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Death toll in Syria Civil War, 2011 - 2014
Death toll in Syria Civil War, 2011 - 2014

The U.N. said last week that more than 191,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011.
 
Wednesday's report says the apparent goal of the Syrian military's operations is "to render life unbearable in areas out of its control," detailing the use of sieges followed by bombing campaigns and the arrests of men who are of fighting age. 
 
It also says the government has used illegal chlorine gas in its attacks, and is "systematically targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure."
 
The commission recommends that the U.N. Security Council consider referring the crisis to the International Criminal Court, and calls on all parties to stop abuses that include murder, rape, torture and forced disappearances.

Meanwhile, Syrian rebels from at least two different groups seized control of a border crossing with Israel's Golan Heights Wednesday, killing 20 Syrian.  Israel's military said the fighting spilled over into Israeli territory, wounding an Israeli officer.

U.S. journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held hostage by Syrian militants for two years, spoke Wednesday to reporters, a day after coming home to the United States. He expressed surprise at the amount of media attention given his case, and gratitude for the effort put into securing his release.

The mother of another U.S. hostage is pleading with captives to free her son. Shirley Sotloff says her son Steven should not pay for U.S. government policies in the Middle East.

She appealed to the leader of Islamic State to follow in the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad by showing mercy and protecting the lives of all Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Islamic State, which beheaded American journalist James Foley earlier this month, is threatening to kill Sotloff if the U.S. does not stop airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq.

  • Druze men watch from the Israeli controlled-Golan Heights near the Israel-Syria border crossing as Syrian rebels clash with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, Aug. 27, 2014. 
  • Smoke rises near a U.N. post in the Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clash with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, seen from the Israeli controlled-Golan Heights, Aug. 27, 2014. 
  • A U.N. peacekeeper from the UNDOF force observes the Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clash with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, seen from the Israeli controlled-Golan Heights, Aug. 27, 2014. 
  • Smoke and fire rise in the Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clash with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, as seen from the Israeli controlled-Golan Heights, Aug. 27, 2014. 
  • This undated image posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center, a Syrian opposition group, shows a fighter from the Islamic State armed with a knife and an automatic weapon next to captured Syrian army soldiers and officers, following the battle for the Tabqa air base, Raqqa, Syria.
     

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Comment on this forum (3)
Comments
     
by: Alexander The Great from: USA
August 30, 2014 7:41 AM
The Syria conflict and 3 millions refugee crisis and 200,000 civilian death was started out of control as a result of arm supply to rebel by the west and USA.


by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 27, 2014 10:49 PM
I am sorry to say UN is no more powerful to help helpless and weak peoples at Right Time. This type of report is waste of time if UN cannot control Terrorist and Sponsors of Human Killers. Every body knows what is going on in Syria in the name of Freedom Fighters for the last FOUR years. How many children become without parents in this ware torn country, how many wives without Husband and how many families without any supporters. Who is responsible for their pain and endless tears. I am sorry to mention name of Human Killers and supporter of Terrorist Groups. USA, EU, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar. Kuwait, Israel and Jordon. All of these countries are funding and training to these terrorist groups to spread as much as possible human pain. I am sorry to say all have been done by Educated and Civilised Society. They have Full Entertainment and pleasure for them and Four Generations in their Family. But for poor and helpless peoples there is no water, Electricity, No Food, No Security, No Education, No Business. Go and read their religious books whether God will Pardon us against these Crimes.


by: meanbill from: USA
August 27, 2014 8:41 PM
Strange isn't it?... After all the conflicts and wars the US and NATO started, and all the military actions taken in other defenseless countries, and all of the thousands of innocent civilians killed and maimed by them, not one single NATO country or military person was ever accused or charged with committing a war crime, or crime against humanity, in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen, (but), most of the enemy troops or fighters combatting the US and NATO in their countries, were always accused or charged with committing war crimes, and crimes against humanity..... STRANGE isn't it.. Who does or doesn't get accused or charged with war crimes, and crimes against humanity?
And the Israeli indiscriminate bombardment of the innocent defenseless unarmed civilians, causing over 2,000 deaths of men, women, and children including babies, and maiming over 9,000 innocents, didn't warrant an accusation or charge of war crimes, and crimes against humanity?..... STRANGE isn't it, how the UN Human Rights Commission views who commits war crimes and crimes against humanity, isn't it?

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