United Nations Accuse Both Sides Of War Crimes In Aleppo

Syrian air force'targeted aid convoy in deadly bombing UN probe

Syrian air force'targeted aid convoy in deadly bombing UN probe

Meanwhile, fighters for the rebels are also said to have committed war crimes in the siege between July and December past year.

Both sides were guilty of carrying out indiscriminate attacks in densely populated civilian areas, it said, adding that rebels had launched imprecise mortar attacks on government-held neighbourhoods.

The battle late previous year for control over Syria's war-ravaged Aleppo was a stage of unrelenting violence, with civilians on both sides falling victim to war crimes committed by all parties, read a report issued today by the United Nations-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

The commission said the attacks prevented Syrians in Eastern Aleppo from accessing food or supplies.

The Syrian air force and its Russian ally "conducted daily air strikes" on Aleppo, an iconic city that was once the country's economic capital but has now been reduced to rubble, the COI said.

Syrian forces also used chlorine through eastern Aleppo, the report finds.

"By using air-delivered munitions with the knowledge that humanitarian workers were operating in the location, Syrian forces committed the war crimes of deliberately attacking humanitarian relief personnel, denial of humanitarian aid, and attacking civilians", the report said. "The types of munitions used, the breadth of the area targeted and the duration of the attack strongly suggest that the attack was meticulously planned and ruthlessly carried out by the Syrian air force".

Investigators described Aleppo as a scene of "unrelenting violence" in which civilians in the rebel-held east and government-controlled west fell "victim to war crimes committed by all parties". Russian Federation meanwhile suggested that a USA drone was to blame.

The use of chlorine as a weapon is prohibited by worldwide law as well as the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Syria is a party.

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Investigators with the U.N. Human Rights Council's commission of inquiry on Syria analyzed satellite images and fragments of explosives during their investigation, in addition to interviewing hundreds of people on the ground.

The Aleppo fight was among the most horrifying episodes in a six-year war that has claimed more than 310,000 lives.

Those evacuations, which were observed by United Nations staff and the International Committee of the Red Cross, left civilians with "no option to remain", the COI said.

"Such agreements amount to the war crime of forced displacement of the civilian population. for strategic reasons - and not for the security of civilians".

Western Aleppo, which was controlled by Syrian government forces, had been shelled by opposition groups, it added, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries.

"Using improvised weapons, these groups often fired indiscriminately in attacks that killed and injured dozens, including women and children".

A number of these attacks were carried out without a clear military target and had no other objective than to terrorise the civilian population. The groups also stopped civilians from leaving eastern Aleppo and used them as "human shields", and attacked a Kurdish residential district, both of which are war crimes.

The UN report also said Syrian government forces executed presumed rebel fighters and their supporters as they rolled through eastern Aleppo in December.

There were also reports of arbitrary arrests of persons suspected of belonging to rebel groups, including doctors, and of men and boys being subjected to forced conscription. "The fate of others remains unknown".

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