UN: Syrian Rebel Beheadings Add to Growing War Crimes

Panel Warns of Increasing Brutality on Both Sides

Another UN Human Rights Council panel report details the growing “brutality” on both sides of the Syrian civil war, detailing war crimes from both government and rebel forces.

“Syria is in free fall,” noted chairman Paulo Pinheiro. The report warned of huge numbers of war crimes, and at least 17 “incidents that could be called massacres” since mid-January.

One of the most disturbing trends is toward beheadings of Syrian soldiers by rebel fighters, with the report noting that the rebels had been recruiting child soldiers and had a child participate in one of the beheadings.

The report also claimed a handful of uses of thermobaric weapons by government forces, something that had not been seen in the past. Thermobaric weapons create a blast-wave that increases casualties in close-combat situations.

“War crimes, crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations continue apace,” the report grimly concluded, with Pinheiro adding, on a personal note, that “crimes that shock the conscience have become a daily reality.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.