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U.N. Human Rights Chief Describes Syria as ‘Gigantic Graveyard’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.N. Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Reuters

New York-The U.N. Human Rights Chief has warned that Syria has turned into “a gigantic, devastated graveyard,” and rang the alarm about the increasingly desperate situation of at least 200,000 civilians trapped in three towns in Syria where attacking forces have been making significant headway in recent weeks.

In a statement issued on Friday, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said all advancing forces in Aleppo, Daraya, Manbij and other parts of Syria should avoid harming hundreds of thousands of civilians besieged in the areas of conflict.

“The number of war crimes already committed surpasses the worst nightmares,” he said.

But Zeid said it is in the power of rival forces and their foreign backers to minimize further civilian casualties and “avoid further crimes and atrocities.”

“They must also ensure that the fundamental needs of the besieged population such as food and water are met,” Zeid said. “The intentional starvation of civilians is a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, and may constitute a war crime.”

“Those responsible for such violations should be held criminally accountable. Even if they have become so brutalized they do not care about the innocent women, children and men’s whose lives are in their hands, they should bear in mind that one day there will be a reckoning for all these crimes,” he added.