Fresh claims of Syria’s brutal crackdown on anti-government protests have been made by Human Rights Watch.
The New York based group says Syrian army commanders have been ordered to stop demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad “by all means necessary.”
The claims are made in a new report based on interviews with army and intelligence defectors.
Although Syrian authorities have blamed the violence on armed groups, Human Rights Watch says ordinary people have been deliberately targeted.
Anna Neistat from Human Rights Watch said: “We concluded that these crimes constitute crimes against humanity, they were widespread and they were perpetrated as part of government policy.”
The group’s findings appear to echo claims made this week by the United Nations, which said more than 5,000 people have been killed in Assad’s crackdown since it began in March.
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