UN reports ‘mass executions’ in Syria by ISIS

March 20, 2014 | By | Reply More

Mar 20, – The commission of inquiry’s latest report documents several incidents blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Government forces are meanwhile accused of sharply increasing their use of indiscriminate weapons, such as barrel-bombs, against civilians. The report was released before a debate at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

hromedia UN reports 'mass executions' in Syria by ISIS arabuprising3In a separate development, the US state department told the Syrian government that it must immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the US and withdraw all personnel who were not US residents.

The newly appointed US special envoy, Daniel Rubenstein, said the order was a response to the Syrian embassy’s decision to suspend consular services, as well as the “atrocities the Assad regime has committed”.

‘Execution field’  The report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria covers what it says were the “most egregious violations” of human rights committed between 20 January and 10 March.

At the start of January, deadly clashes erupted when Western-backed and Islamist rebel groups launched co-ordinated attacks on ISIS strongholds in northern and north-eastern provinces of Syria.

In the days and hours before their bases were overrun, ISIS fighters “conducted mass executions of detainees, thereby perpetrating war crimes”, the UN report says. The number killed as well as allegations of mass graves connected to these executions remain under investigation.

The report says that on 6 January at Aleppo’s children’s hospital, which was used by ISIS as its headquarters, a guard began summoning certain detainees out of their cells, after which they were taken outside and killed in what was described as an “execution field” nearby.

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Survivors [of the barrel-bomb attacks in Aleppo] commonly spoke about seeing bodies without limbs or heads”

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria  Several other examples of mass executions of detainees are listed.

In addition, the UN investigators found that after 20 January the government had ramped up its campaign of dropping barrel-bombs – explosive-filled cylinders or oil barrels – onto densely-populated residential districts of Aleppo, with devastating consequences.

The unceasing bombardment – at the same time as representatives of the government were attending peace talks with the opposition in Geneva – caused extensive civilian casualties and led to the large-scale displacement of people from targeted areas, the report says.

“Civilians have been killed from the initial blasts and the shrapnel that results. Others have been killed in the collapse of buildings around the impact site. Bodies were torn apart by shrapnel and flying debris. Survivors commonly spoke about seeing bodies without limbs or heads.”

The report says that barrel bombs cannot be precisely targeted and their use is therefore indiscriminate. Furthermore, it adds, in many incidents there was no clear military target in the proximity of the area attacked.

Press journalist for HROmedia – Khizer Hayat contributed to this report.

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Category: Arab uprising

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