The Guardian is commendably forthright on Syria and the Assad regime’s crimes:
“The UN has issued a damning 102-page report saying that Syrian government forces and Shabiha fighters have carried out numerous war crimes in the country including murder and torture.
They are also blamed for the notorious massacre of 100 civilians, almost half of them children, near the town of Houla in May.
The UN’s independent international commission of inquiry says the violations were the result of “state policy”. It claims President Bashar al-Assad’s “security forces and government” at the highest levels were involved in “gross violation of international human rights”.
The violations include “unlawful killing, indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations and acts of sexual violence,” it says. The report paints a bleak picture of events on the ground in Syria, noting the situation inside the country has “deteriorated significantly” since February.
The commission, led by investigator Paulo Pinheiro, reports that Syria’s rebels are guilty of violations including murder, torture and extra-judicial killings. Abuses by anti-government groups are not “of the same gravity, frequency and scale” as those committed by Syrian regime forces and allied Shabiha soldiers, it says.
The UN’s findings were published on another day of carnage inside Syria. Opposition activists said at least 30 people were killed when a Syrian jet bombed a hospital in the northern city of Azaz, close to a strategic Turkish border crossing, which was captured by rebels last month after a fierce battle.”
Copies of the report in English and Arabic can be found at the home page of the UN Human Rights Council.
The English version as a Word document is here.