Syria: Assad regime, Russia and Iran are responsible for heinous crimes

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  • MEPs condemn spiralling violence in Syria
  • Urge all parties, in particular Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, to respect the 30-day ceasefire
  • Advocate setting up an international Syrian war crimes tribunal

The Assad regime, Russia and Iran must respect the 30-day ceasefire and bear the responsibility for the heinous crimes committed in Syria, MEPs said on Thursday.

They strongly condemn all atrocities, shelling of civilians and widespread violations of human rights and international law committed in Syria during the seven-year conflict. This war has taken 400 000 Syrian lives, thousands more have been injured and millions have been displaced, said MEPs.

 

The latest testimony of spiralling violence is the Syrian regime’s offensive against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta. MEPs call on all parties, and in particular Assad’s regime, Russia and Iran, to implement the 30-day ceasefire set by the UN Security Council on 24 February and allow in humanitarian aid.

 

They stress that the Syrian regime, and its allies Russia and Iran are responsible under international law for the heinous crimes they continue to commit in Syria and the economic consequences of their military interventions. The repeated Russian vetoes in the Security Council on Syria and on efforts to renew UN investigations on chemical attacks in Syria are “shameful”, MEPs say, adding that “obstruction of the international investigations is more a sign of guilt than anything else”. MEPs also advocate creating a Syrian war crimes tribunal, pending a successful referral to the International Criminal Court.

 

Repeated regional and international attempts to end the war have failed. However, MEPs urge that hope must not be lost and efforts to find a political solution through the UN-led Geneva process must be renewed. They call on EU foreign policy chief Mogherini to step up the EU’s role in peace talks, support the no-fly zones, actively back Syrian civil society and commit significant resources to Syria’s reconstruction. MEPs welcome the EU-hosted second Brussels Conference on Syria to be held on 24-25 April.

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