The world is witnessing probable war crimes in besieged Eastern Ghouta and other parts of Syria, the UN High Commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein said on Friday in Geneva, according to Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel.

“What we are seeing, in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere in Syria, are likely war crimes, and potentially crimes against humanity,” Al-Arabiya cited Hussein saying on its Twitter account.

“Syria must be referred to the International Criminal Court. Attempts to thwart justice, and shield these criminals, are disgraceful,” Al-Arabiya quoted Hussein as adding.

Hussein was speaking during a debate of the UN Human Rights Council of a proposal by the United Kingdom calling on the body to act swiftly to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ghouta – the last major rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus.

The UK proposal referred to the situation in Syria – where the brutal civil war is entering its eighth year – as one of the most prolific slaughterhouses of modern time, the UN Rights Council said.

A total of 1,389 people – 1,073 of them civilians – were killed in Syria last month, of them 67 percent in Eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

The Eastern Ghouta agricultural region, home to almost 400,000 people, and once the breadbasket of Syria, has been under bombardment by the government and its allies since 18 February.

The UN says more than 580 people are reported to have been killed in the bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, which are among the fiercest of the Syrian war.

The bombings and shellings have continued despite a UN security Council resolution on 24 February demanding a 30-day ceasefire, and subsequent appeals by top UN officials for its immediate implementation.