Report: Syrian rebels committing war crimes

Jul 05, 2016, 4:50 AM EDT
Syrian rebels
(Source: Global Panorama/flickr)

According to a report by Amnesty International, five Syrian rebel groups have been carrying out abductions, torture and summary killings in the northern provinces of Idlib and parts of Aleppo over the past four years. The report, which was based on interviews with about 70 individuals living or working in rebel-held areas, called on international backers to stop providing arms to the groups, accused of atrocities.

Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, said the civilians in rebel-controlled areas live in “constant fear” of being abducted if they fail to abide by the strict rules imposed by the armed groups, writes Al Jazeera.

The five Syrian anti-regime factions accused  of committing serious abuses include al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, hardliner Ahrar al-Sham, Nureddin Zinki, the Levant Front and Division 16, notes Deutsche Welle. The report gave a detailed account of about 24 abductions of activists, ethnic and religious minorities, including children.

The London-based rights group said that Syrian government forces also committed war crimes and crimes against humanity on a mass scale, reports Middle East Eye. Amnesty called on Russia and the U.S. and the U.N. Special Envoy to Syria to urgently take up the issue during the ongoing peace talks in Geneva.