Violence has escalated in eastern Ghouta, despite a UN ceasefire call a week ago, and the bombing of the besieged Syrian enclave represents a "simply unacceptable" punishment of civilians, the United Nations said on Sunday.
Nearly 600 people have been reported killed and more than 2,000 injured in air and ground-based strikes since February 18, UN regional humanitarian coordinator Panos Moumtzis said, noting that mortar shells fired from the rebel-held enclave into the capital Damascus had killed and injured scores of civilians.
"Instead of a much needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more disturbing reports of hunger and hospitals being bombed. This collective punishment of civilians is simply unacceptable," Moumtzis said in a statement.
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Syrian government air strikes on the besieged Syrian enclave of eastern Ghouta and shelling from the rebel-held zone into Damascus probably constitute war crimes and must be prosecuted, the top UN human rights official said on Friday.
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the perpetrators of such crimes in Syria should know they were being identified and that dossiers were being built for future prosecutions, Reuters reports.
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