GENEVA – A Russian airstrike on a busy marketplace in northern Syria last year that killed 84 people could amount to a war crime, a report from a United Nations-backed commission of inquiry said on Tuesday.
The Commission of Inquiry on Syria, a three-member panel mandated by the UN, denounced a recent escalation in hostilities in the war-torn nation and condemned continued breaches of basic human rights committed by all parties in the conflict.
“In one particularly harmful attack on 13 November, the Russian Air Force carried out airstrikes on a densely populated civilian area in Atareb (Aleppo), killing at least 84 people and injuring another 150,” the report said. “Using unguided weapons, the attack struck a market, police station, shops, and a restaurant, and may amount to a war crime.”
The latest report also chronicled intensified violence in the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus and human rights abuses against prisoners of war taken by Kurdish militias around Raqqa and Der Ezzor in eastern Syria.
“It is beyond comprehension that, despite this extensive range of violations, Syrian victims and survivors continue to be denied any meaningful justice,” said Commission Chair Paulo Pinheiro.