Syrian, Russian airstrikes in Idlib amount to war crimes, as do extremist attacks — UN

أفراد عائلة ساهر العلي يقفون داخل منزلهم المتضرر في بلدة النيرب التي يسيطر عليها المتمردون ، إدلب ، سوريا ، 17 أبريل / نيسان 2020. تم التقاط الصورة في 17 أبريل / نيسان 2020.

Syrian and Russian planes have carried out deadly aerial strikes amounting to war crimes on schools, hospitals and markets in Idlib province, UN investigators said on Tuesday in a report that also condemned attacks by extremist fighters. 

They said that “indiscriminate bombardment” by pro-government forces, ahead of a March cease-fire brokered with Turkey, claimed hundreds of lives and forced nearly one million civilians to flee, which may amount to a crime against humanity.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria also accused Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a extremist group that controls part of northwest Syria, of firing artillery into civilian areas “with no apparent legitimate military objective.”

Fighters from HTS, a group formerly known as Nusra Front, have tortured and executed detainees, it added.
“What is clear from the military campaign is that pro-government forces and UN-designated terrorists flagrantly violated the laws of war and the rights of Syrian civilians,” Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN panel, said in a statement.

The report, covering Nov. 2019 until June 2020, was based on overflight data and witness testimony.