United Nations human rights investigators say widespread war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by Syrian government troops.
In a 102-page report independent investigators claim murders and torture have been committed in what appears to be state-directed policy.
Concluding an inquiry into a massacre in Houla north of Homs in May, the commission found state forces and allied shabbiha militia killed more than 100 civilians, nearly half of them children.
However the report’s author says atrocities carried out by rebels “did not reach the gravity, frequency and scale” of those perpetrated by the army and security forces.
The findings will now be used to update the UN’s confidential list of suspects or units responsible for violations.