UN rights council extends Syria probe mandateListen /
The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted overwhelmingly to extend the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria for another six months.
It has also condemned the continuing violence and what it described as "heinous crimes" committed by the Syrian authorities and their affiliated militias against civilians.
The draft resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Syria was approved by 41 states, with China, Cuba and Russia voting against it.
US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahue says the work of the independent probe is crucial.
"Assad continues to cling to power and his campaign of brutality has sparked a deepening humanitarian crisis. The work of the COI is important because as they continue to document the names of individuals responsible for these crimes and violations, they help ensure that this will not be a case where impunity prevails, but rather that those responsible for these crimes against the Syrian people will face justice and accountability." (Duration: 30″)
Earlier, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay had urged the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court or ICC.