UN Panel: Syria Has Committed War Crimes
Rebels have too, but on a smaller scale, panel concludes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2012 11:34 AM CDT
Syrian soldiers investigate the scene after a bomb attached to a fuel truck exploded outside a Damascus hotel where UN observers are staying in Damascus, Syria, Aug. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)
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(Newser) – As violence continues to pummel Syria, a UN panel has concluded that President Bashar Assad's forces have carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that the highest levels of government have likely been involved in the murders, torture, sexual violence, and other atrocities. Specifically, it blames the government for the killing of more than 100 civilians—many of them children—in Houla in May. The panel also found that armed rebel groups have committed war crimes, but on a smaller scale, the AP reports. More from Syria:

  • A bomb exploded outside a Damascus hotel where UN observers are staying today. At least three people were wounded, but no international monitors were harmed, Voice of America reports. The Free Syrian Army claimed it set off the bomb in an attempt to target the Syrian military, whose officers were reportedly meeting at the hotel.
  • US defense officials say Iran is training a militia to help Assad, whose troops have been fighting for 18 long months. Leon Panetta decried Iran's efforts, the AP reports, noting that they will only serve to increase the violence. The US is still considering enforcing a no-fly zone, although Panetta says that's "not a front-burner issue" right now.