UN investigators accused Russia and the United States of violating international human rights in Syria by bombing residential areas and killing hundreds of civilians, as well as the Syrian regime of launching chemical attacks in the rebel stronghold of East Ghouta.
Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) and other extremist groups also committed war crimes, including lethal offensives against civilians and their use as human shields, the UN Independent Commission for Syria reported in a report presented in Geneva.
The commission has concluded that the international coalition led by the United States has not taken the necessary precautions to prevent or reduce the number of fatalities or injuries among the civilian population, as well as damage to civilian facilities, which means a violation of international humanitarian law. .
The report refers in particular to one of the most serious attacks committed by the coalition, carried out in March 2017, when a school in the city of Al Mansura, in the Syrian province of Al Raqa, was the target of a bombing that left at least 150 dead, a figure higher than that recognized by the Pentagon.
Although the coalition said that the objective of this attack was to kill IS militants hidden in the school, the commission's report clarified that it did not harbor any terrorist, but served as a refuge for civilians displaced since 2012.
The investigators of the United Nations (UN), which analyze the human rights violations committed in Syria from July 8, 2017 until January 15, 2018, also denounced a Russian air attack that used unguided weapons against a market, killing 84 people in Atareb, west of Aleppo.
The commission found no evidence that the Russian attack was deliberately directed against the market, but said it could amount to a war crime for launching indiscriminate attacks, causing the death of civilians, so it is the first time it is implicated explicitly to Moscow in possible war crimes.
In addition, United Nations investigators accused the Syrian regime of resorting to chemical agents in the region of Ghota Oriental, outside Damascus, without specifying, however, the way in which toxic weapons are used.
The president of the Independent Commission of Investigation of the United Nations for Syria, the Brazilian Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, declared in a press conference that he is investigating 33 chemical attacks, perpetrated in the Arab country since March 2013.
The aforementioned commission does not have access to Syria, which is why it based its report on 513 interviews conducted with victims and witnesses abroad or in Syria through social networks, in addition to studying satellite images, videos and medical notes.
The commission called on the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to create a mechanism that allows the release shortly of all political prisoners and those who are arbitrarily detained. Geneva (NOTIMEX)