Beirut, 4 August
Syria’s main Opposition group today urged the United Nations to probe “numerous massacres” they say were committed by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan.
The National Coalition also said it was ready to cooperate in any independent investigation into alleged crimes committed by opposition forces.
The Coalition’s call comes two days after UN rights chief Navi Pillay said a reported mass execution by rebels of Syrian soldiers taken captive in the northern town of Khan al-Assal should be investigated.
“The Syrian Coalition urges… Pillay to immediately begin an investigation into the numerous massacres that have taken place during the holy month of Ramazan,” a statement said.
“Assad has violated international humanitarian and human rights laws. He has committed crimes against humanity by using ballistic missiles, toxic gas, fixed-wing aircraft and chemical weapons,” the group said in a statement.
“Assad’s forces have summarily executed civilians, burned them, and targeted towns, villages, schools, hospitals, shelters, and places of worship across Syria,” it added.
Ms Pillay said on Friday that the events during fighting for control of the town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province were “deeply shocking”.
Video footage shot by rebels and information provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggest dozens of members of regime forces were executed.
“There needs to be a thorough independent investigation to establish whether war crimes have been committed. And those responsible for such crimes should be brought to justice,” Ms Pillay had said.
“Opposition forces should not think they are immune from prosecution. They must adhere to their responsibilities under international law,” she added.