News / Middle East

UN: Syrian Rebels Suspected of War Crimes

Free Syrian Army fighters take cover inside a house near the air force intelligence headquarters in Aleppo, Syria, August 1, 2013.
Free Syrian Army fighters take cover inside a house near the air force intelligence headquarters in Aleppo, Syria, August 1, 2013.
VOA News
United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay is calling for an independent investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by Syrian rebel fighters.

Pillay said Friday that a U.N. team in Syria found evidence that rebels executed at least 30 people last month in Aleppo. Most of the victims were Syrian soldiers. She said the killings were captured on video, calling the incident "deeply shocking."

Pillay said those on both sides of the war who break international humanitarian and human rights law need to be held accountable. She said rebel forces should not think they are immune from prosecution.

The U.N. says more than two years of civil war in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and driven about 6 million from their homes. Most of the victims have been civilians.

  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad shakes hands with military personnel during his visit to a military site at Darya area on the 68th anniversary of army day, August 1, 2013.
  • An injured youth at a vegetable market hit by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at al-Mashhad district in Aleppo, July 31, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter sits on a sofa along a street in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, July 31, 2013
  • Syrians refugees try to enter a truck which will transport them back to their homeland at the Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, July 30, 2013.
  • A Syrian refugee displays sweets for sale during the month of Ramadan at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, July 30, 2013. 
  • Syrians refugees try to enter a truck which will transport them back to their homeland at the Al-Zaatri refugee camp, Mafraq, near the border with Syria, July 30, 2013. 
  • Free Syrian Army fighters take up position on the stairs of a building in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, July 23, 2013.
  • A man points towards a burning car, caused by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, Damascus, July 23, 2013.
  • In this image taken from video from the Shaam News Network, fighters from the Free Syrian Army target regime forces in Aleppo, Syria, July 22, 2013.
  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, columns of smoke billow after heavy bombing, in the countryside outside of Aleppo, Syria, July 22, 2013.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army are seen through smoke as they walks along a damaged street filled with debris in Deir al-Zor, Syria, July 22, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions in a room as they try to locate snipers in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood, July 21, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters eat their iftar meal as they break fast, in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal neighborhood, July 21, 2013.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
August 04, 2013 2:31 AM
The obvious Middle Eastern policy for the US is to build synthetic oil plants to supply all its needs, and then leave the Middle Easterners alone to kill each other in peace. Still, it hasn't done this for forty years, so there's no reason to expect enlightenment to dawn now. I can only assume that bribes from Arab oil money keep its politicians from using their common sense.

by: Neill from: UK
August 03, 2013 7:32 AM
I can't believe our government wants to supply these radicals with arms.

What we need is a revolution in this country, to overthrow our bloodthirsty politicians.

by: Deb Thurston-ocds
August 03, 2013 1:43 AM
Navi Pillay is concerned about the execution of a couple dozen Syrian soldiers last month? With all due respect, she needs to investigate the wholesale massacre of Christians by the rebel fighters, such as what happened in the village of Al-Duvair. Assad may not be the greatest leader, but at least Christians had some measure of religious freedom and protection under his leadership. The Free Syrian Army is dead-seat on the slaughter of those whom they consider to be "infidels."

by: jeff from: usa
August 03, 2013 1:06 AM
100 thousand killed, and 6 million with no place to go. Madness for shure!

by: Osama
August 03, 2013 1:01 AM
Wheres the war crimes here? Executions? This is a war, do you want them to give them ice cream? Assad is responsible for everything, ASSAD IS THE WAR CRIMINAL! He is sending his own men to be slaughtered by the islamists, so he imported more islamists to fight the other islamists, WHAT A LOSER, BURNED HIS OWN COUNTRY!
In Response

by: Garry from: Deep River
August 03, 2013 8:06 AM
I agree, how can you call it war crimes when the group you are fighting does the same and worse. I may not be a moral thing to do, but when government troops slaughter helpless bystanders, use poison gas in rockets and bomb your homes killing your families, can you blame them? Do you really expect them to follow rules when they are fighting a murdering government? This writer is a bleeding heart outsider or a puppet of Assad.

by: peaceman from: bellighem
August 03, 2013 12:26 AM
These Rebels are mercenaries not a normal people.
Do you remember they killed a teen soldier and took his heart out front of video ?
Do you remember hillary clinton was an stunt supporter of these people?

by: Seth_DeKooters from: Hartford, CT
August 02, 2013 11:29 PM
The American people need to understand that the so called "rebels" are a collection of many factions, some of whom are both brutal and criminal. The US government, with its history of domination by AIPAC and Zionists in middle eastern policy formulation, lacks credibility in its Syrian pronouncements.

by: Buck Mast from: Tennessee
August 02, 2013 10:50 PM
all this proves is that BOTH sides are nothing more than blood-thirsty,inhuman ,savages
In Response

by: Ali from: Denver
August 03, 2013 3:18 AM
AND the U.S. along with regional powers from Qatar, Turkey to Iran, all collaborators. Aren't we really proud of our deep stupidity. Shame on U.S., U.N. and their stooges. Ali

by: chris from: earth
August 02, 2013 10:37 PM
war is a crime
In Response

by: jeff from: mo
August 05, 2013 5:01 PM
Amen!!
In Response

by: jeff from: mo
August 05, 2013 4:58 PM
I agree that does seem to make the case!

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Victoria, BC, Canada
August 02, 2013 10:03 PM
This increasingly bloody sectarian war has an unintended consequence -- giving the Syrian Kurds the upper hand in establishing the beginnings of an independent Kurdish enclave which before long will join with the quasi-Kurdish oil state inside Iraq and be a solid border of growing Kurdish state that will eventually also include Kurd-dominated sections of Iran and Turkey. There is no way to stop creation of a Greater Kurdistan that may ultimately become an empire in its own right.
In Response

by: jonathan from: london
August 03, 2013 3:27 AM
over many years the Kurdish aspirations of nationhood have been
ignored by the world . within northern Iraq the Kurdish people
have demonstrated there ability to organise there own affaires
effectively and peacefully whilst rejecting involvement in any of the myriad of violent conflicts that surround them . It is also
important to note the genuine harmony that exists between the religious groups within Kurdish society as a whole.
In Response

by: Kriegan175 from: NY
August 02, 2013 11:36 PM
I agree with you, it seems only the Kurds will get something out of this civil war. As the USA loses influence in the region I also see a kurdish nation arising.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs