MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the statement, there are some 200,000 civilians estimated to be trapped in three towns in Syria where attacking forces have been making significant headway.
"The country is already a gigantic, devastated graveyard <…> The number of war crimes already committed surpasses the worst nightmares. But it is in the power of both attacking and defending forces – and their foreign backers – to minimize further civilian casualties and avoid further crimes and atrocities. They must do so," he stressed.
The high commissioner also noted that the advancing forces must ensure that the basic needs of the besieged population were met.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting a number of opposition factions and extremist groups.