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Possible war crimes charges over Syria

Possible war crimes charges over Syria
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With the United Nations figure of more than 7,500 people killed in Syria since the unrest began last year, some of those responsible could be charged with crimes against humanity.

The death toll is especially high in the besieged city of Homs, with residents there making claims of torture and summary executions.

A report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) lists some of the people suspected of committing the crimes.

“The Syrian government has failed to fulfil its responsibility to protect its own people and, instead, has subjected citizens in several cities to military assault and disproportionate use of force,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a UN Security Council meeting.

There are also signs that Russia, which previously vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions, may now be ready to take a tougher stance against its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “We should draw serious conclusions regarding the situation in Syria. It remains a cause of grave concern for Russia and the whole international community.”

His trip to Syria failed to produce a ceasefire, and former UN Secretary General and UN Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who is now in neighbouring Turkey had strong words.

“The killing of civilians must end now. The world must send a clear and united message this is simply unacceptable,” Annan said.

Around 12,500 Syrian refugees are in Turkey, many having fled from the Syrian army’s fresh offensive in Idlib, close to the border. Chanting ‘God is great’ and ‘Assad, Damascus wants you executed!’ they continue to show their defiance against the regime they have been forced to flee.