UN Investigator: Foreign Jihadists Threaten to Radicalize Syrian Rebellion

Human Rights Violations 'Escalate Dramatically' on Both Sides

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, in charge of investigating alleged war crimes in Syria, has issued a report today at a news conference confirming that human rights violations are dramatically rising on both sides of the civil war.

Pinheiro, a professor, also expressed major concerns about what he called the rise of “foreign militants and radical Jihadists” in the rebel movement, saying that they risk radicalizing the rest of the civil war.

Pinheiro also cautioned that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the largest of the rebel factions and the one most overtly backed by Western nations, continued to commit some of the worst violations, adding that despite promises there is no sign the group is implementing any code of conduct for the war.

Concerns about human rights violations in the war have often ended up politicized at the UN, with Western nations shrugging off reports of rebel violations to focus on the regime, and Russia and China centering their criticism entirely on the rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.