UN rights chief warns Russia over Syria raids

    UN rights chief warns Russia over Syria raids

    Oct.4, Aleppo: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein warned Russia on Tuesday over the use of incendiary weapons in Syria's besieged rebel enclave of eastern Aleppo, and said crimes by one side did not justify illegal acts by the other.

    Hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured in air strikes since the collapse of the latest ceasefire and the Syrian government's announcement last month of a Russia-backed offensive to retake Aleppo.

    Repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, have drawn international condemnation - and accusations of war crimes.

    Zeid said that the situation in Aleppo demanded bold new initiatives "including proposals to limit the use of the veto by the permanent members of the Security Council", which would enable the UN body to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    "Such a referral would be more than justified given the rampant and deeply shocking impunity that has characterised the conflict and the magnitude of the crimes that have been committed, some of which may indeed amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity," he said in a statement.

    Syria's government and its allies had undertaken a "pattern of attacks" against targets with special protection under international humanitarian law, including medical units, aid workers and water-pumping stations, he said.

    The Oslo Times International News Network


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