Syrian civilians increasingly paying price as ISIL airstrikes escalate: Zeid

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A UN convoy drives past destroyed buildings in the old city of Homs, Syria. March 2017. Photo: UNICEF/Ebo

Civilians in Syria are increasingly paying the price as airstrikes against ISIL extremists escalate, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged Syrian air forces operating in the country to take much greater care in distinguishing military targets and civilians.

Warring parties must also uphold their obligation to take measures to spare civilians from the effects of armed conflict, he added.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

"The same civilians who are suffering indiscriminate shelling and summary executions by ISIL are also falling victim to the escalating airstrikes."

That's what the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said, citing numerous credible and disturbing reports of such incidents.

He pointed to the northeastern governorates of Al-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor as areas particularly affected by shelling.

On 14 and 15 May, 82 people in total were reportedly killed and 70 wounded when a village in Al Raqqa and residential areas controlled by ISIL in Deir-ez-Zor were bombed.

ISIL has also been cracking down on civilians in and around areas remaining under its control.

Unfortunately, the High Commissioner noted, the outside world is paying very little attention to the plight of these civilians.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 53″

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