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UN war crimes panel urges U.S. to probe casualties of air strikes in Syria

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By Reuters
UN war crimes panel urges U.S. to probe casualties of air strikes in Syria
UN war crimes panel urges U.S. to probe casualties of air strikes in Syria   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

GENEVA -UN war crimes investigators urged the United States on Wednesday to carry out thorough probes into civilian casualties caused by U.S. air strikes in Syria to ensure that those responsible for any violations are held to account.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry reiterated a “recommendation to the United States and all parties to conduct credible, independent and impartial investigations into incidents entailing civilian casualties in which their forces are implicated”.

The panel called on Washington to ensure those responsible for violations are held accountable and to make their findings public.

In November, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a review of a 2019 strike in the Syrian town of Baghuz that caused civilian casualties, the Pentagon said at the time.

The New York Times had reported that the strike killed up to 64 women and children, a possible war crime, during the battle against Islamic State.

The independent experts also called for easing Western sanctions on Syria to mitigate their impact on civilians who are grappling with shortages and “skyrocketing” inflation.