UN: Idlib Civilians Must Not Be Sacrificed to War

Voice of America News reports: “U.N. human rights experts warn that all-out war in the northern Syrian enclave of Idlib would result in the massacre of civilians worse than any other seen throughout more than seven years of war.

Since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, more than 6.5 million people have become internally displaced. The three-member Independent Commission of Inquiry finds fighting has forced more than 1 million people to flee their homes in less than the first six months of this year. It says this unparalleled number of displacements is due to escalating battles by pro-government forces to recapture territory from armed groups and terrorist organizations.

The U.N. investigators say they fear what might happen if Syria and its allies mount a full-scale war to retake Idlib, the last rebel-held enclave in the country.

‘The civilian population … should not be held hostage to a war on terror,’ said inquiry commissioner Hanny Megally. ‘We have no problem with states going after terrorists, armed groups, et cetera, if they have committed crimes or are about to commit crimes. But not at the cost of innocent civilians.’…”

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