17:47 GMT +323 May 2019
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    People walk on rubble of damaged buildings in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 30, 2018

    UN: Both Syrian Gov't Forces and Rebels Committed War Crimes in E. Ghouta

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
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    The Syrian government and allied forces had conducted Operation Damascus Steel to drive out the terrorists controlling Eastern Ghouta.

    "Through the repeated, indiscriminate shelling of civilian inhabited areas, pro-Government forces, armed groups, and members of terrorist organizations alike committed the war crime of intending to spread terror among civilian populations living under the control of opposing sides," the UNHRC's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said in a statement.

    The UNHRC inquiry concluded that Syrian pro-government forces were guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes due to the fact that they had launched indiscriminate attacks on protected facilities and residential areas, and blocked civilian access to food and medicine during the siege and the offensive of Eastern Ghouta.

    "The cumulative physical and psychological harm wrought by the five-year siege continues to negatively impact hundreds of thousands of Syrian men, women, and children countrywide," the statement added.

    Up to 50,000 other civilians were transported to the Aleppo and Idlib provinces under evacuation agreements reached between the government and militant groups operating in Eastern Ghouta.

    READ MORE: Syrian Army Troops Discover Huge Terrorist Weapons Cache in East Ghouta

     In April, the Syrian government forces freed Eastern Ghouta and Eastern Qalamoun as well as the southern districts of the Syrian capital from militants. By mid-April, when the area was recaptured by Damascus, around 140,000 Syrians had been displaced, the statement pointed out.

    Various human rights groups and international organizations have said that over 500,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, while millions of people have been displaced.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    crimes against humanity, report, war crimes, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Eastern Ghouta, Syria
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