The UN has found massive evidence pointing to the Syrian government’s involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The accusation goes to the highest levels and implicates the president, Bashar al-Assad.
The UN says the scale and viciousness of the abuses by both sides of the conflict almost defies belief.
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said:
“They’ve produced massive evidence, they find the facts. The facts point (pointed out) to the Commission are very serious crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity. They point to the fact that the evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level of government including the head of state.”
But she was careful to say she hadn’t singled Assad out as a possible suspect.
She added that it was still unclear who would be present at a forthcoming peace conference in Geneva which marks the first face-to-face meeting between the warring sides of Syria’s civil war.
Faisal Mekdad, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, was swift to dismiss the claims: “She has been talking nonsense for a long time, and we don’t listen to her,” he said, referring to Pillay.
As combat continues in Syria, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons aims to destroy Syria’s chemicals stockpile by mid-2014.