Damning Syria report reveals continuing horrors

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Syrian Kurdish refugees cross the border into Turkey after fleeing fighting around the city of Kobane in north-east Syria. Photo: UNHCR/I. Prickett

The latest UN report into the Syrian conflict has revealed that civilians continue to be the deliberate target of barrel bombs, mass executions sexual violence as the conflict enters its fifth year.

At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN investigator Paulo Pinheiro criticized the lack of international response before saying that the names of those believed to be responsible for crimes would not be made public just yet.

He detailed crimes by all parties involved in the fighting, which began as a peaceful protest against President Bashar Al Assad in March 2011 and repeated the need for a political solution to the crisis. Daniel Johnson has more:

"Massive, recurrent violations of human rights" that deliberately target civilians still happen in Syria, Paulo Pinheiro told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

The investigator and Commission of Inquiry chairman spoke of women and girls abducted by Islamic State fighters in Iraq and then "sold and re-sold inside Syria" as sex slaves and "war booty".

The extremists also continue to throw men accused of being gay off tall buildings, Pinheiro added, before condemning the Syrian government for bombing and killing tens of thousands of civilians.

He also condemned the stalling that has prevented the UN Security Council from referring the situation to the International Criminal Court.

"This war is a chronicle of missed opportunities on the part of states with political influence and the broader international community."

And on the issue of whether to release the names of those believed responsible for crimes, Pinheiro said they would not be made public but instead shared with states interested in prosecuting citizens.

In response to the allegations, the Syrian delegation rejected the report's findings saying it "defies the standards of credibility".

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'06"

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