World Bulletin / News Desk
The situation in Aleppo constitutes crimes of "historic proportions," the UN's human rights chief said on Friday.
"The violations and abuses suffered by people across the country, including the siege and bombardment of eastern Aleppo, are not simply tragedies; they also constitute crimes of historic proportions," Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, in a speech by video conference.
"Hundreds of thousands of people are trapped in 17 other besieged locations [in Syria], and face life-threatening shortages of food, medicine, and basic supplies," he said.
The U.N. "documented violations of international humanitarian law by all parties in Aleppo. Armed opposition groups continue to fire mortars and other projectiles into civilian neighborhoods of western Aleppo, but indiscriminate airstrikes across the eastern part of the city by government forces and their allies are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties,"
"These violations constitute war crimes. And if knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against civilians, they constitute crimes against humanity," he added.
He called for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court.
"The permission, which has been given to the Syrian regime to participate in U.N. meetings and talk about human rights, is a shame to the values that the international community defends," Turkey's ambassador to the UN office in Geneva, Mehmet Ferden Carikci, told Anadolu Agency after the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.