UN says no investigation on foreign air strikes in Syria

UN war crimes team announces they will not investigate foreign nations' air attacks in Syria, despite worries concerning foreign air attacks committing war crimes in region

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian Sukhoi Su 25 fighter jets

A UN team of war crimes investigators have decided not to probe foreign countries' air operations in Syria even if there is a potential incident regarding violations of the laws of war, Paulo Pinheiro, Chairman of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria, announced on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Pinheiro said, "It is not our mandate to investigate the behavior of powers involved in the crisis of Syria."

"There is no possibility that we will investigate the American air strikes or French or British or Russian," he added.

The United States, France, Britain and Russia air forces have been targeting the Syrian territorial field.

In recent days, Human rights groups have published several reports concerning foreign air strikes that have violated the laws of war by striking civilians in Syria.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), since September 30, 570 civilians, including 152 children and 60 women have been killed by Russian air attacks.

Watchdog Human Rights Watch also announced in its report in October 25, that at least two air strikes possibly conducted by Russian forces had killed 59 civilians in Homs.

The group remarked that during the air attacks, vacuum bombs could possibly be used in residential areas.

Meanwhile, UNICEF condemned earlier in December, the air strikes that hit a water-treatment plant Aleppo, the rebel-held city in northern Syria.

A Syrian man carries two girls covered with dust following an airstrike by government forces July 9 in the northern city of Aleppo (Photo: AFP)

The decision of the UN war crimes team could spark a debate among human watch groups since UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had earlier announced a plan "to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic."

The four-year-long war in Syria has so far claimed the lives of at least 350,000 people.

Large numbers of whom lost their lives during air strikes and barrel bombings in civilian areas by the Syrian regime.

TRTWorld and agencies