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UN: Syria war crimes proof enough to indict

Human rights investigators expand their list of suspected war criminals from both sides of the conflict.

United Nations human rights investigators have added to their list of suspected war criminals from both sides of the Syrian conflict and the evidence was solid enough to prepare any indictment after a new round of atrocities in recent weeks.

The UN inquiry identified military units and security agencies as well as rebel groups suspected of committing abuses, Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the inquiry said on Tuesday.

Four confidential lists of suspects on both sides have been drawn up to date.

“This ‘perpetrators list’, as we call it, contains names of persons criminally responsible for hostage-taking, torture and executions,” Pinheiro told the Human Rights Council.

“It also contains names of the heads of intelligence branches and detention facilities where detainees are tortured, names of military commanders who target civilians, airports from which barrel bomb attacks are planned and executed, and armed groups involved in attacking and displacing civilians.”

In its updated report, the UN commission of inquiry on Syria said the period of January 20 to March 10 was marked by escalating infighting within rebel groups throughout northern and northeastern provinces.

Syrian government forces dropped barrel bombs on Aleppo and other cities, it said, causing extensive civilian casualties in areas with no clear military target. They also severely tortured detainees, according to the report.

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