US coalition may have committed war crimes in Syria: UN

– Fresh UN report claims main actors might have committed war crimes in Syria where civil-war erupted in 2011


By Ali Murat Alhas

ANKARA (AA) – The UN commission of inquiry on Syria released a 21-page report Wednesday saying acts of U.S.-led coalition, the Syrian regime and Russia might amount to war crimes.

According to the report, the air raids by the U.S.-led coalition did not, or failed to, take enough measures to distinguish civilians from the military targets.

"Launching indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a war crime in cases in which such attacks are conducted recklessly," said the report.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the U.S., held large-scale operations in Syria which "had led to the near-complete destruction of towns and villages," according to the report.

Turkey views SDF as part of YPG, which is the Syrian offshoot of PKK terror group which has killed over 40,000 people including infants, children and women in its decades-long terror campaign.

The Syrian regime and Russia were also condemned for their aggression in northwestern Idlib province of Syria.

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

The Syrian regime, however, has consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.

These parties, in the UN report, were accused of targeting health facilities, schools, market areas and agricultural zones, which might amount to "war crimes".

Civilians are the ones bearing brunt of the aggression in Idlib by the regime and Russia and millions are today at risk of migrating to nearby countries, particularly Turkey, which is currently home to over 3,6 million Syrian refugees.

More than 1,000 civilians were killed in and around the Idlib demilitarized zone over the last four months, according to the UN which says further aggression in the city could trigger a humanitarian tragedy "graver than the one experienced in 2015," referring to the mass influx of Syrian refugees to Turkey and Europe.

Syria has just emerged from a devastating civil war that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to UN figures.

The report also noted that approximately 13 million people has become displaced — with 6.7 million of migration to abroad and 6.2 million of them turning internally displaced persons (IDP).