UN warns more arms in Syria mean more war crimes [View all]
Source: The Associated Press
Arming Syrians fighting on either side of the country’s bloody conflict could lead to more war crimes, the head of the UN commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria warned Friday.
Paulo Pinheiro stopped short of directly criticizing the United States or other nations arming Syrians, saying the commission does not comment on decisions by governments. But his remarks came about a week after President Barack Obama authorized sending weapons to rebels for the first time.
“Crimes that shock the conscience have become reality ...We emphasize that there is a devastating human cost to the availability of weapons and that there is also a political cost,” Mr. Pinheiro said. “Weapons fuel the parties’ illusion that they can win this war, pulling them farther into battle and away from the negotiating table.”
In its report, the commission also found there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals had been used as weapons in at least four attacks in Syria’s civil war, but that more evidence was needed to determine the precise chemicals agents used, or who used them.