BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:35 P.M.) – The United Nations has accused the Syrian government and rebels of committing war crimes during the seven year long battle in the East Ghouta region of Damascus.
“Through the repeated, indiscriminate shelling of civilian inhabited areas, pro-government forces, armed groups, and members of terrorist organizations alike committed the war crime of intending to spread terror among civilian populations living under the control of opposing sides,” the UNHRC’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said in a statement.
The UNHRC inquiry concluded that the Syrian pro-government forces were guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes due to the fact that they had launched indiscriminate attacks on protected facilities and residential areas, and blocked civilian access to food and medicine during the siege and the offensive of Eastern Ghouta.
“The cumulative physical and psychological harm wrought by the five-year siege continues to impact negatively hundreds of thousands of Syrian men, women, and children countrywide,” the statement added.
The battle for the East Ghouta region lasted nearly seven years and proved to be one of the deadliest of this war, as both sides suffered heavy casualties.