World Failing Syrian Refugees | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Africa/Middle East, News

World Failing Syrian Refugees

Posted: Sep 4, 2015 at 2:56 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A United Nations inquiry into the conflict in Syria has criticised the “global failure” to protect the country’s refugees, saying it has fuelled Europe’s migrant crisis.

Chairman Paulo Sergio Pinheiro urged the international community to act with “humanity and compassion” by creating legal channels of migration.

The inquiry’s latest report says 2,000 Syrians trying to reach Europe have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. And the Syrian war, it warns, continues to intensify with no end in sight.

More than 240,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.

A further four million Syrians have fled abroad and 7.6 million are displaced internally.

The Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law.

The report published on Thursday covers events from January to June 2015 and concludes that the violence in Syria is “endemic” and “regrettably proliferating in its scope and extent.”

“None of the belligerents seem either close to collapse or positioned to secure an outright military triumph,” it said. “All have secured sufficient support channels, territorial gains and operational capabilities to sustain them for several more years.”

The report says the conflict is “increasingly driven by international and regional powers, primarily in accordance with their respective geostrategic interests”, without identifying them.

“The competition among regional powers for influence has resulted, among other consequences, in an alarming exacerbation of the sectarian dimension, instigated by the intervention of foreign fighters and extremist clerics,” the report warns.

Investigators found jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) committed “murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery, sexual violence, forcible displacement and other inhumane acts as part of a widespread attack on the civilian population.”

Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s local affiliate, was also “imposing its extremist ideology” in areas it captured in Idlib province earlier this year, the report says.

The Syrian government meanwhile continued its indiscriminate aerial bombardment of residential areas across the country, leading to widespread civilian casualties.

The report warns that “the protection space for Syrians trying to escape the conflict is steadily shrinking.”