U.N. lists Syria war crime suspects in ‘leadership positions’

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Syrians in “leadership positions,” who may be responsible for war crimes, have been identified by United Nations investigators on Monday, along with units accused of carrying them out, a report revealed.

Both government forces and armed insurgents are committing war crimes, including killings and torture, in a conflict spreading terror among civilians, they said in a latest report based on 445 interviews with victims and witnesses abroad.

U.N. investigators in the report also urged Security Council to ensure accountability in Syria, possibly by referring crimes to the International Criminal Court. It said both Syrian government forces and rebels committing war crimes, including killings and torture.

The report added that Syrian forces perpetrating mass killings, shelling cities, bakeries and funerals were aimed at “spreading terror.”

Alongside the findings of the report, former U.N. prosecutor Carla del Ponte said on Monday the International Criminal Court should be called in to probe war crimes in Syria,

“The international community -- and the U.N. Security Council -- must take the decision to refer this to justice,” said del Ponte, member of a U.N.-mandated commission of inquiry on the Syria conflict.

“We suggest the International Criminal Court. We can’t decide, but we are pressuring the international community to act, because it’s time to act,” she said.

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