Escalating violence in Syria could lead to new levels of horror, says UN rights chief

All parties in Syria have shown a ‘monstrous disregard’ for civilian lives, rights chief says

BEIRUT: Escalating violence across Syria, which has seen a fragile truce agreement unravel and peace talks collapse, could release new levels of horror, the UN human rights chief said on Friday, saying all parties have shown a “monstrous disregard” for civilian lives.

“The cessation of hostilities and the Geneva talks were the only game in town, and if they are abandoned now, I dread to think how much more horror we will see in Syria,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain said in a statement, urging all sides to step back from a return to all-out war.

“The violence is soaring back to the levels we saw prior to the cessation of hostilities. There are deeply disturbing reports of military build-ups indicating preparations for a lethal escalation,” Zeid said.

Peace talks in Geneva aimed to end a war that has created the world’s worst refugee crisis, allowed for the rise of Daesh and drawn in regional and major powers, but the negotiations have all but failed and a cessation of hostilities agreement to allow them to take place has collapsed.

Air strikes late on Wednesday destroyed a hospital and killed dozens of people in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, including children and doctors, in an attack that a US official said appeared to be solely the work of the Syrian government. Read more...


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