Foreign militant groups now fighting in Syria

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Demonstration in Syria

 Foreign militant groups including Jihadists are fighting alongside anti-government groups in Syria, according to the UN Commission investigating human rights violations in Syria.

The commission says there is evidence that the foreign groups are joining anti-government forces and pushing them towards more radical positions.

It adds that gross violations of human rights by both government and opposition forces have grown in number, pace and in scale, with no effort on either side to prevent or punish those behind the violations.

The chairman of the commission Paulo Pinheiro told the UN Human rights Council in Geneva on Monday that indiscriminate attacks on civilians is the order of the day in Aleppo, Damascus, Dera, Latakia, Idlib and Homs governorates.

"We received numerous accounts, in particular from civilians in Idlib and Aleppo governorates and in Homs city, of civilians barely managing to survive. Shelling, and in some cases snipers, made venturing outside often too dangerous to contemplate. Anti-government groups executed captured government soldiers, informers, and people they believed to be members of the Shabbiha. Anti-government armed groups admitted taking captives and holding them solely for ransom or exchange – threatening the captives with execution if the deal failed. Children under 18 years are fighting and performing auxiliary roles, such as assisting medical evacuations or as couriers, for anti-government armed groups."

The Syrian government has not yet given the commission of inquiry permission to visit the country

Duration: 47"

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